David Warner credited his wife for his first international century since returning from a ball-tampering ban after inspiring Australia to a World Cup victory over Pakistan.
The left-handed opener, who served a 12-month suspension for his part in the sandpaper scandal against South Africa, smashed 107 from 111 balls to pave the way for the defending champions’ 41-run success at Taunton.
Warner fought back tears when apologising for his wrongdoing at an emotional press conference in March 2018.
The 32-year-old admitted he at times suffered with motivation during his lengthy enforced lay-off and said wife Candice was responsible for keeping him going.
“I think going through those tough times and sort of regrouping with myself to put myself in the best position to come back to international cricket, I did everything I could,” said Warner.
“I really, really knuckled down and trained my backside off. I was always coming back to international cricket, if selected.
“The thing that kept me going was my wife and my kids – got great support at home, my family.
“My wife is just my rock, she’s unbelievable, she’s determined, disciplined, selfless and I hold a lot of credit to her.
“She’s a strong woman and she got me out of bed a lot in those first 12 weeks, got me back running and training as hard as I could and prepared for the other formats of the game that I was playing.
“It was just to maintain my level of fitness and hard work and she really nailed that into me.
“To come out here and play the way I know I can play was awesome. I was elated. It was a bit of relief in a way.”
Warner’s opening partnership of 146 with captain Aaron Finch, who made 82, was the highest of the competition so far.
It put Australia in control before they suffered a batting collapse, losing their final six wickets for just 30 runs in the space of seven overs to leave them all out for 307.
Mohammad Amir finished with figures of five for 30, but Pakistan mustered only 266 in response and were beaten with 26 balls remaining.
Warner – who registered his third score of 50 or more in the tournament – and team-mate Steve Smith have previously been jeered by spectators for their roles in the ball tampering.
The pair had few, if any, taunts from the crowd in Somerset, but Warner said receiving stick spurred him on.
“The boos? We don’t really hear that when we are out there,” he said. “We’re out there to do a job. Look, it’s water off a duck’s back, I get it all the time, I’ve had it my whole career.
“It actually eggs us on a lot, it makes us knuckle down and try and score more runs, if anything.”
Finch and Warner were given reprieves after each being dropped by Asif Ali, the former having made just 26 at the time.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who saw his side fail to build on victory over hosts England, was pleased with the bowling contribution of Amir but said improvement was required in the field.
“If you take a positive in this match, definitely Mohammad bowled really well,” he said.
“I think fielding is not up to the mark. We work together again, and we work hard before the India match.”
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.