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Warner not a bad guy, says Williamson


IANS Wellington
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson feels David Warner is "not a bad person"
and maintained that he had been in touch with the southpaw during the fall-out of the ball tampering scandal in South Africa which saw Warner and Steve Smith banned for 12 months and Cameron Bancroft for nine months.
Williamson had previously shared the dressing room with Warner at the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, and has now replaced the Australian for the 2018 edition of the T20 league. Warner's deal with the IPL side, starting April 7, was cancelled in the wake of his ban.
Williamson hoped that former Australian vice captain Warner along with the other two will learn from the tough lessons.
"We've spent a bit of time together in the IPL, played against and with each other. I've sent a few texts, that's about it. He's not a bad person by any means," Williamson said.
"Through what's eventuated in recent times, there's been a lot of emotion and energy pointed at certain players which has gone to extreme lengths. It will blow over in time, but its grown and grown and like I say he's not a bad guy.
"He's made a mistake and certainly admitted that and they are disappointed with that action. They will have to take the strong punishment and move on.
"You always learn from tough lessons and I'm sure they'll do that. But it is a shame that two fantastic, world-class players have made a mistake," he added.
Reacting to Australia head coach Darren Lehmann's statement where he admitted the team needed to change, and cited New Zealand as an example of a side whose style on and off the field is worth emulating, Williamson credited Brendon McCullum for the change in attitude.
"He (McCullum) was huge in that respect. Setting an environment where we wanted to play the game a certain way and it was reflected in the way we went about our business on the field, but the work went in off the field as well," Williamson said.
"For us, it's about how we want to play the game and that's important to us. It's been a part of our environment for some time and we want to maintain that.
"We believe that suits us as people and we want to commit to that, play as hard as we can on the park, but at the end of the day, the game finishes and you are still people," the Kiwi right-hander added.

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First Published: Mar 29 2018 | 4:04 PM IST

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