David Warner has laughed off suggestions he has fallen out with Steve Smith, saying the suspended pair often joke about talk that they don’t get along.
Smith and Warner met again on Saturday on a cricket field, as Coogee Oval was packed out for the most-anticipated Sydney grade-cricket match in decades.
The pair have played against each other in Canada and Darwin since the ball-tampering scandal, but rarely have more eyes been on them since both the Australian captain and vice-captain’s 12-month bans.
At the time, there were suggestions Warner had been cast out by the playing group, with the Test opening batsman painted as the villain and architect of the affair.
But the duo spoke warmly on Saturday on the field and embraced after the match, with Warner insistent there were no troubles between them.
“As I said before, there has been a lot of media talk that we don’t get along, that I’ve thrown him under the bus,” Warner said, speaking publicly for the first time in months.
“It’s good comedy for us – we enjoy it.
“We’re catching up with each other and texting each other. We don’t read it all but some of the fun stuff the boys throw towards us.”
Warner and Smith won’t be available to play for Australia again at home for almost another year, but Saturday suggested the redemption tale would be well done by the time they did.
More than 2000 people turned out at Coogee Oval for Saturday’s match between Randwick Petersham and Sutherland, with fans spilling over between the picket fence and boundary rope.
The pair were cheered all day both with the bat and in the field, and regularly posed for photos and signed autographs with fans both young and old.
Warner scored 13 and Smith hit 48 and took a wicket in Sutherland’s last-over win, but the biggest positive was the reception in the public eye – a far cry from the mood after Cape Town.
“That’s what cricket is all about – to come down here and have fun on a Saturday afternoon,” Warner said.
“We have been living in a bubble for a long time. It’s great just to come back and enjoy cricket and remind yourself it’s a fun game.”
Warner also confirmed he would play in Cricket Australia’s Twenty20 national championships in March in Adelaide, with his Northern Territory City Cyclones.