Looking back, Candice Warner felt the tour was cursed to begin with. "That attack during the first test in Durban when Quinton [de Kock] called me [terrible, shameful] names – I should've known it wasn't going to end well."
But what came next, no one saw coming. "I was feeling so happy that day," Candice recalls. "I hoped the terrible stuff was behind us. We love Cape Town and it's where Dave proposed to me in 2014. I was beginning to feel that first stage of being pregnant – the subtle changes to my body were kicking in. We were overwhelmed, knowing another little Warner was on the way."
"I don't think either of us realised how much we longed for this baby. We had been trying since last July and I did a test when we first got to Cape Town," she says.
Here, Candice answers every question you may have had about what happened after her husband, David Warner, was caught up in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked the nation - and how she tragically lost her baby in the process.
"I was completely exposed. I'd become an unwanted distraction. I saw myself on the big screen, the victim of a sick prank, and without notice, rock bottom hit me like a brick. Nothing could've prepared me for what was about to happen." "I felt like a dirty, horrible person – it was like I cracked in half. It was a deliberate and very personal attack and I felt so ashamed of my past. People were staring and pointing at me, but I knew I had to put on a brave face for our girls.""I was raised much like Dave, to cop it on the chin. But there's no denying I was a target right from the start of the tour and I'd have to be bullet-proof for the taunting not to have affected me. It rocked my very foundation and I paid the ultimate price, losing our baby. It was the final blow."
"I wonder how all those who came after me feel now?"
"My parents were with us when it all went down in South Africa, they stood proudly at my side throughout the entire Sonny Bill ordeal and have been there for us through the miscarriage. I finally received a very weak apology from Cricket South Africa – I realised they're the ones to feel ashamed, not me."
"I would like to extend that apology to Sonny Bill. He's a husband and father, so imagine how his wife would feel – and his kids. It's been eleven years since that happened, so I think it's time to put it to rest and get on with things that really matter."
"I don't do fragile, but I was in a very bad state. We were criticised for bringing our girls through that media scrum at the airport, but we'd been assured that was a private exit and we'd managed to leave quietly, with no fanfare, from Johannesburg. I was completely gutted when I saw the media – especially after 23 hours flying, knowing the world had no idea I was carrying our third child."
"When I wept uncontrollably at Dave's press conference, I was called out by the trolls for sitting with my close friend Roxy with the suggestion it was all a tacky PR stunt [Roxy Jacenko runs a high profile public relations firm]. Those sobs came from a very deep place. Sitting there, watching my husband, a broken man, tore me apart."
"A week after the press conference," she remembers, "I woke up feeling pretty ordinary. I called Dave to the bathroom and told him I was bleeding. We knew I was miscarrying and we held one another and cried. "
"The miscarriage was a tragic consequence, a heartbreaking end to a horror tour. Like so many families who've experienced a miscarriage, it's just really sad. The entire ordeal from the public humiliations to the ball tampering, it had taken its toll and, from that moment, we decided that no sport, nothing will ever impact our lives like that again."
"At the time, I felt like I'd let us down – that my body had let us down – but I've come a long way since then. I'm a very spiritual person and I truly believe it wasn't their time to be with us. Despite our terrible loss, I do know without any doubt that my calling in life is to be a mum."
"I know there's a burning desire to wear that baggy green again. To earn back the respect of the Australian public is top of his game plan. Dave loves the newly appointed coach, Justin Langer, and believes he's the man to sweep out the debris and inject a whole new confidence into the team. I know Dave will want to be a part of that transformation.""This could be one of the great blessings in disguise – what's happened to us. With his girls at his side, I know he can do anything. I was asked recently if I love cricket. I answered, no, I don't, but I love Dave."
Candice Warner's story is in the June issue of The Australian Women's Weekly on sale now. Plus, in this month's Royal Wedding collector's edition, don't miss our extensive coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day, as well as get your very own sets of vintage royal postcards.
- BooksThe best, beach-ready motivational books on the shelves right now
Now To LoveDec 05, 2019