Warner walks off after sledge

DAVID Warner walked off the field mid-innings after being sledged during a Sydney grade cricket match on Saturday.

Warner is playing for Randwick-Petersham while he serves his 12-month ban from international and state cricket for his role in the ball tampering scandal and came up against Western Suburbs at Pratten Park in Ashfield in Sydney’s inner west today.

Randwick-Petersham won the toss and batted first and Warner, opening the batting, had moved into the 30s before drama struck.

News.com.au understands Warner was offended by a sledge from a Wests player and told the umpires he was taking himself out of the game. He left the crease and walked off the field, heading into the sheds as the game came to a halt.

According to spectators at the ground, some of the left-hander’s teammates had to convince him to return to the wicket and after a short break in play, he resumed his innings.

There was initially some confusion because once a batsman has left the field of play, they are unable to return to the crease – unless they are returning after having retired hurt. However, news.com.au understands Western Suburbs players allowed Warner to return because they did not want him to be dismissed in such a fashion.

Warner went on to raise his bat for a half-century, reaching 50 as Randwick-Petersham moved to 2/93.

He then continued to punish the home side’s attack and saluted the crowd again, reaching triple figures as he guided his team to 2/156 in the 55th over.

Weirdness in Sydney Grade cricket. Dave warner, on 35, just walked off the field in the middle of the over. Told the umpire “I’m removing myself from the game”. Apparently it was because of a sledge. He walked off, then came back out to bat 2 mins later. #Cricket pic.twitter.com/jX0lihgLxU

The walk-off came after Warner’s blazing return to club cricket in September.

Playing at Coogee Oval for Randwick-Petersham, Warner smashed a century and capped it off with a trademark celebration, leaping into the air and waving his bat.

The crowd, which had been building from a smattering from early in the day, gave Warner a great reception as he moved into triple figures.

Former Aussie skipper Steve Smith is also having a field day with the bat back home, drawing huge crowds of faithful fans as he takes the field for Sutherland.

In his first game back on Australian soil since the ball-tampering scandal exploded in South Africa in March, Smith received a warm welcome from the crowd, with the spectators applauding every run for the former Aussie skipper scored.

It was Smith’s first grade cricket outing since 2013.

Two reviews prompted by the ball tampering incident — one focusing on the culture within Cricket Australia and the other into the team — are due to be released on Monday.

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