Candice Warner reveals her devastating four-word response to the Sandpapergate cheating scandal that saw husband David spend a year rubbing out cricket
- Candice Warner felt responsible for the scandal
- The Warner family was shamed for going to the toilet in 2007
- South African tour took a huge emotional toll
Candice Warner has revealed that she was so devastated after South Africa’s infamous Sandpapergate scam scandal five years ago that all she could think was, “It’s all my fault.”
Then-captain Steve Smith, her husband David and bowler Cameron Bancroft were all handed heavy penalties over the episode during the Third Test against South Africa in Cape Town where Bancroft roughened one side of the ball with sandpaper.
However, a shocking incident during the second test really hit Candice and took an emotional toll on the rest of the family.
During that match, a number of South African fans were shown wearing Sonny Bill Williams cardboard cut-out masks as a way to get to David while Candice was in the stands.
The fans tried to put themselves in the shoes of the Warners by paying attention to the infamous ‘toilet appointments’ between Ms Warner and NRL icon turned New Zealand All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams in 2007.
Candice Warner has revealed her four-word response to South Africa’s infamous Sandpapergate scandal five years ago was: ‘It’s all my fault’
Then-captain Steve Smith, David Warner and bowler Cameron Bancroft were all handed heavy penalties over the episode during the Third Test against South Africa in Cape Town where Bancroft roughened one side of the ball with sandpaper.
The couple was photographed in a cafe toilet in a compromising position without their consent.
The vicious taunts about the infamous hook-up weren’t just off the field, either.
David Warner and Quinton de Kock provided one of the ugliest moments of a bitter series when they stood on a staircase after a match in Durban and the South African made a mean comment about Candice and Williams.
“For myself and my family, I was pregnant at the time and no one knew, my two little girls and my mother there — it was embarrassing. It broke my heart. It was… it was tough,” Warner recalled News Corp.
“It was hard to stand there and support David, but I knew I had to. I knew I couldn’t leave the stadium because if I did, David would have known everything had affected me. And then it would have hit him.’
Warner, who says she received little support from Cricket Australia over the embarrassing incident, blamed herself for what happened in South Africa.
“Having your name and your past put on hold for a few weeks before you’re sent home definitely makes you feel like you’re a little bit to blame,” she said.
“Maybe not entirely to blame, but there’s a part of you that goes, if all that leading up to it didn’t build so much tension, didn’t build so much anger between the two teams, then — you don’t know (what could be happened)… That’s where I thought it was all my fault.
During the second test test, a number of South African fans were shown wearing cardboard cut-out masks belonging to Sonny Bill Williams (pictured) as a way of getting to David Warner
Warner, who says she received little support from Cricket Australia over the embarrassing incident, blamed herself for what happened in South Africa
And that really hurt me a lot. I definitely thought at the time that I was contributing to everything that was going on.”
Warner, who recently released the memoir Running Strong, believes that women now have more of a voice and that the embarrassing incident in South Africa would play out differently if it happened today.
“What disappointed me is that I didn’t have a voice back then. Women did not have a voice then. Sixteen years later we can talk about it, I feel comfortable with it and I am heard,’ she says.
‘In 2007 I had to apologize. And now I can have these conversations… and the fact that we’ve come this far and that we can have these conversations now is really empowering.”