“Too many people I feel are quick to make a judgment or opinions on myself or my family,” she said.
“When we came home from South Africa in 2018 when there was an incident with the Australian cricket team. There was a ball-tampering incident.”
Asked whether David had tampered with the ball or “supposedly” had tampered with the ball, Candice replied: “No. That’s other people’s opinion. He has never said his part.”
An investigation found that David Warner had instructed Cameron Bancroft to do the job, with latter using a piece of yellow sandpaper that was caught on camera by the host broadcaster on day three of play. Warner had been the team’s chief ball cleaner.
Skipper Steve Smith was the only Australian penalised by the International Cricket Council immediately after the Test. He was suspended for one Test and fined his entire match fee for “conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” for he had to take responsibility for the actions of his players. However, a separate Cricket Australia investigation led to year-long suspensions for Smith and his then deputy Warner and a nine-month ban for Bancroft for bringing the game into disrepute.
David Warner has yet to fully explain his role in the incident and there are teammates who feel he ultimately carried too much of the blame.
His manager James Erskine has been approached several times with lucrative offers for his client to tell his side of the story but has so far refused, all parties agreeing this was the best result in the immediate term after a significant amount of work went into reintegrating David into the team.
Erskine said on Monday that Warner had kept diarised notes would more than likely publish a tell-all book when his career was over.
“There will be a time and place. At some stage, he will write a book,” Erskine said.
Candice said the incident continued to “follow them around”.
“It has, but even before that were incidents in South Africa where people were trying to make fun of me, mock me, belittle me in front of my family, because of an incident that happened in the past and they think that is funny. It was just a bad mistake. I don’t want to talk about it,” she said.
Candice and David were at the centre of ugly taunts through that series as a result of her night with rugby star Sonny Bill Williams at the Clovelly Hotel more than a decade earlier. David even had to be physically restrained after confronting South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock in a stairwell during the Durban Test after de Kock allegedly made a “vile” comment about Candice.
She later said the stress of the whole ordeal contributed to a miscarriage.
Meanwhile, former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson opened up about his mental battles, revealing he had been diagnosed with depression since finishing his cricket career. Johnson, 38, retired after playing the last of his 73 Tests in 2015 but continued to play in white-ball domestic competitions.
Johnson admitted he had found the transition from being a full-time professional sportsman to life post-cricket difficult.
“I found out I have got depression but I think the depression was something I had even from a younger age,” he said.
Jon Pierik is cricket writer for The Age. He also covers AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.