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Sydney: David Warner’s 15-year international career came to an anticlimactic end on Tuesday as Australia were knocked out of the T20 World Cup in agonizing fashion.

Australia and Warner could only watch helplessly as Afghanistan reached the semi-finals by beating Bangladesh by an astonishing eight runs.

Australia’s fate hung in the balance after India beat them by 24 runs in St. Lucia in a day of great drama.

The 37-year-old opening batsman Warner had always said that the World Cup in the United States and the Caribbean would be his farewell to international cricket.

He couldn’t have imagined it coming out like this.

The combative Warner has been at the top of the Australian order since his international debut in January 2009, and as opening partners they have come and gone.

He hangs up his pads as Australia’s greatest three-format player. He is the country’s highest run-scorer in T20 cricket with 3,277 from 110 games.

Warner exited a glittering 112-Test career in January, having plundered 8,786 runs at an average of 44.60 with a strike rate of 70.19. His one-day exploits were equally impressive, amassing 6,932 runs from 161 matches.

Warner was also one of the most consistent slip fielders in the game, whose name was among the first on the team sheet.

“He’s probably our biggest three-format player. It will be a loss,” Australia coach Andrew McDonald said recently.

“Other people tried it for a while, but for us internally, we saw the great value and what it brings to the table, so we kept choosing it.”

But for all his exploits on the field, Warner made enemies along the way and will forever be remembered for his key role in a notorious ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

Warner was seen as a plotter-in-chief when Cameron Bancroft used sandpaper to crush the ball before a crass attempt to hide the evidence down his trousers during a Test in Cape Town.

Along with captain Steve Smith, Warner was suspended for a year by Cricket Australia, stripped of his vice-captaincy and banned from ever leading the team.

Warner, who will go on to play T20 cricket in leagues around the world and also be a commentator, admitted this month that he will always be tainted by “Sandpaper-gate”.

“I think it’s going to be inevitable that when people talk about me in 20 or 30 years, there’s always going to be that sandpaper scandal,” he said.

He feels he has been singled out unfairly.

“Whether it’s people who don’t like the Australian cricket team or they don’t like me, I’ve always been that person to sort it out,” he added.

Because of this, Warner said he was looking forward to international retirement.

“You can only absorb (so much),” he said. “For me, it’s great to go out knowing I’m not going to make it.”

Warner has always been an assertive presence and his involvement in ‘Sandpaper-gate’ came as no surprise to many.

In June 2013, he was suspended and fined for punching England’s Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham on the eve of the Ashes.

“I am extremely sorry. I have let my teammates down, Cricket Australia, the fans, myself and my family,” Warner said at the time.

Two months earlier, he was just as upset after an ugly Twitter spat with two Australian journalists.

Despite the controversy, he kept coming back.

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said Warner is a tough competitor but a different person off the field.

“I’ve heard a lot from Davey recently about people making judgments about him from the way they see him playing cricket,” he told reporters at the World Cup.

“Once he comes out of retirement and takes the next step in his life in media, you’re going to see a whole different side of him.”

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