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Graeme Smith: Warner's ego must be managed if he 'gets bigger than everybody else'
Australia News

Graeme Smith: Warner's ego must be managed if he 'gets bigger than everybody else'

David Warner's ego should be managed if he starts to "get bigger than everybody else,” said former South Africa captain Graeme Smith in an interview to Fox Sports.

Warner, on his comeback after serving a one-year ban for ball-tampering, has been in imperious form in the Indian Premier League ahead of his expected recall to the national side for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales.

Smith, who lead his country for more than a decade, said that while he had a lot of admiration for Warner's batting, he had ‘pissed a lot of people off’ throughout his career.

"I don't know," he said when asked if he would have any issue in welcoming Warner back to the Australian team.

"It's difficult to know what it's like behind the scenes, but he's always been an incredible cricketer," added Smith, who played 117 Tests before announcing his retirement in 2014.

"Especially when he bats, he bats with that driven nature, that intensity, ego to perform. And he's an excellent cricketer.

"I think where David has been throughout his career is that he's pissed a lot of people off. He's just that type of guy. I think at the moment he needs Australian cricket more than they need him."

‘Warner’s behavior needs to be monitored’

Warner is suspected as a mastermind behind using the sandpaper to alter the ball in the infamous Cape Town Test last year.

And Smith believes his behaviour needs to be monitored closely.

"I think he's very driven, I think he wants to do well, he wants to prove his worth again. And I think David Warner in that position is probably a good guy to have in your environment," he said.

"It's when he starts to get bigger than everybody else then probably management needs to be ready for that.

"Guys like Langer and whoever is captaining the side going forward need to ensure they stay on top of that and manage that space and that ego well going forward."

The reintegration of Smith and his deputy Warner has already begun with the pair meeting the one-day team after their bans expired on March 28.

Australian cricket chief Kevin Roberts recently said team-mates don't always need to be "best mates".

"In any workplace, you don't need to be best mates with everyone, but there needs to be a foundation of respect and I think there is growing respect there," he said.