Warner arrived in Darwin yesterday without fanfare and under the radar of local media in a vastly different scenario than he has been used to while in the cricket ‘bubble’ of fame, success and excruciating public scrutiny.
On arrival, he attended a Cricket Clinic with a couple of dozen youngsters at Darwin Cricket Club and enjoyed the enthusiasm and passion of grass roots cricket.
He spoke exclusively with the NT News, ahead of his trip to Arnhem Land this week. Ashley Manicaros (NT News) reports:
If banned Australian Cricketer Dave Warner is disgraced, then it wasn’t obvious by the behavior of the two dozen children around him or the parents watching as he took part in a Milo Cricket Clinic at the picturesque Kahlin Oval, before a brilliant Territory Sunset.
They were just stoked to be part of it. The parents were equally happy at the smiles Warner was eliciting from their children. What they saw was redemption, starting at the grassroots, and they were part of it.
Warner said he had been humbled at the public support and was enjoying some extended time with his family, a luxury he didn’t experience while travelling for 300 days a year.
“I think the biggest thing for us has been when you are in a routine you can get caught in a bubble – cricket, hotels, packing your bags, coming home” he said.
“You’re not home for long, with an extended period of time you are in a good routine but then it is selfless – kids are a priority – so it’s day care, swimming lessons and then you get your quality time together as parents. I am making time now and it’s worthwhile.
“The support has been fantastic. It is humbling and overwhelming. Sometimes you sit back and reflect and wonder whether people care about you as a person. Sometimes with our society something has to happen for the worst for people to come out and show a lot of support and I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson in this myself for the support I have been given, to be on the front foot to help others” said Warner.
Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory is a long way from the second test but is a sabbatical warner has been keen to undertake. He will travel to remote Northern Territory with Australia’s largest Indigenous corporation – the Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA) to promote a Territory developed driving app, Drive About, designed to deliver driver education.
“I feel privileged that in exchange for me teaching cricket, I will begin to learn and witness traditional Aboriginal culture – and at the same time we will have some fun and make some great friends”, said Warner.
ALPA chief executive officer, Alastair King said securing a high profile sportsman such as David Warner was a huge boost to the programs they run in the region. “At ALPA, we have a huge focus on developing youth programs and we support sports development across a range of sports in our communities”, he said.
Travelling to remote areas and communities is often a humbling experience for many people. Warner will spend time in the Northern Territory working with children in Arnhem Land and talking to community representatives about how to assist with the development of Indigenous cricket and Indigenous cricketers in remote communities. This is one of the key priority areas for Northern Territory Cricket as we give more people the opportunity to experience and play cricket and ultimately follow the pathway to the Baggy Green.
“This year I want to spend as much time focussing on giving those with less exposure, and less opportunities, the belief that they can make it at the highest level” Warner told Nine News.
We wish him well for his time here in Arnhem Land and the Northern Territory. Those of us who live and work in the NT know that when you spend time in this part of our Country, it has an impact on how you see and appreciate life, family and your community no matter where you live. David Warner may leave the Northern Territory but part of the Northern Territory will never leave him.