Candice Warner and all the Australian Test cricket team WAGs have been offered safety after David Warner’s wife and her children were abused by fans in Adelaide – but she has turned down the offer, saying she can “stand up for myself”.
It is the first time South Africa have played a Test series in Australia since the infamous Sandpapergate scandal in 2018 and a sell-out crowd is expected at the Gabba in Brisbane for day one on Saturday.
Candice Warner explains why she turned down Cricket Australia’s offer of security for the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane starting this Saturday
In that series, Warner and captain Steve Smith were banned for 12 months for ball-tampering while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
‘This [the abuse] happens quite a lot and with the Test series against South Africa it’s nice to know that if a situation like 2018 were to arise, I feel safe and my family feels protected, she said.
Candice said she received the call from Cricket Australia around lunchtime on Monday after speaking on the Triple M Summer Breakfast radio show about the abuse she suffered in Adelaide.
“It was about midday, I was at home and I got a call that just said, “Look, we don’t want you or your family to feel unsafe at cricket. We know how much your support means to David and the team, this is what we want to offer”, she said.
Warner is under pressure to score runs and could potentially face a hostile element in the crowd with South Africa touring for a Test series for the first time since Sandpapergate
“I just said it’s unnecessary, I don’t need an escort, I’m very independent, I can stand up for myself.
“It’s more about the safety of all the players and their partners and their family and just everybody in general.
“I want to be able to go to the cricket because it’s such a great day out and feel safe and feel like they can be there without being attacked.”
Candice also revealed that the abuse directed at her in front of her daughters had been personal and not related to her husband.
“It’s nothing to do with Dave, it’s about my past and it’s about me,” she said.
“Anyone out there who wants to heckle me on social media, it’s not about David. This was a personal attack on me.
David Warner arrives with his wife Candice and their children at Sydney International Airport on Thursday after Sandpapergate
“But going forward with Cricket Australia, as a mother of three daughters it is imperative that their safety is paramount.”
Candice also spoke about the pain of the abuse she and David Warner received in South Africa when the ball-tampering scandal happened.
The Test opener featured an altercation with South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock in a stairwell after a vile sledge was aimed at him.
Candice was ridiculed by fans who wore Sonny Bill Williams masks at the second Test in South Africa and posed for photos with South African cricket officials.
South African cricket officials happily pose with cricket fans wearing Sonny Bill Williams masks to mock Candice Warner
It means the South Africa Test series has the potential to be explosive and Candice said all WAGs had been given access to a phone number to provide immediate safety if they felt unsafe.
“If at any point I feel I need it, I have a phone number I can call, like everyone else. It’s not just special attention for myself or Warners, at all, she said.
2018 for me personally, before everything else happened, was very difficult.
South African cricket fans also wore masks portraying Steve Smith crying after the ball tampering
“When you’re the subject of people again trying to taunt me in the crowd and I’m not going to get into that because it’s not a poor story at all.
“But it worries me, it makes me a bit nervous, but I’m sure it won’t happen being in Australia.
“That particular day, or a few days in South Africa, was the worst I’ve ever been through, for sure
“But this Test series will be played in Australia, so I’m sure we’ll never go down that road again.”