David Warner insists he and Steve Smith remain firm friends despite the ball-tampering controversy that saw both men handed 12-month bans by Cricket Australia.
Warner was found to be the orchestrator of a plot, also involving Smith and Cameron Bancroft, to change the condition of the ball during the third of four Tests against South Africa in March.
The international and domestic suspensions do not apply to competitions outside Australia and Warner made his competitive comeback 24 hours after former Australia captain Smith in the inaugural Global T20 Canada.
The pair are stopping at the same hotel in Toronto and Warner, who was deputy to Smith before the Cape Town saga, moved to play down any speculation of a rift in their relationship.
Speaking at a press conference broadcast on the Global T20 Canada official website, the big-hitting batsman said: “Me and Steve, we’re good mates.
“We hadn’t really been able to catch up because he’s been away, Cameron’s been in Perth and I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing, I’ve got family at home, so it’s been hard.
“But this has been good, we’ve caught up and had numerous chats and I’m sure we’ll hang out plenty more.”
Warner has been cast as the scapegoat after what happened three months ago, but he added: “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.
“Critics will be critics but, at the end of the day, that’s why they’re behind their keyboards. They do what they do and we move forward and just try to ignore that.”
While Smith marked his return to action with a half-century, Warner lasted just two balls as he was bowled by Sri Lanka veteran Lasith Malinga for one while representing the Winnipeg Hawks, who nevertheless defeated the Montreal Tigers by 46 runs at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground.
Smith described how being mentally drained following a successful Ashes campaign led to him “making horrible decisions” afterwards.
Warner concurred as he added: “In the bubble that we’ve been in for the last six or seven years, you need time out.
“This 12 months is going to be a good reflection upon myself as a person and a character, as a dad and a family man. Being at home for the last 12 weeks was great for me, it was great for my mind.
“There were a lot of mental scars after the Ashes and that probably saw my form and maybe Steve as well in that one-day series against England… it takes a lot out of you.
“Moving on to South Africa and what happened, it was really, really tough. We’re responsible for that and we’re moving on.
“You can’t sit at home and dwell on what’s happened in the past. You’ve got to move forward and I felt that this was a great opportunity to get back out there and just play cricket and be happy.”