Image courtesy of: The Guardian
Warner has been suspended till the first Ashes Test
While most cricket pundits and former players were quick to condemn David Warner’s attack on England’s ‘Golden Boy’ Joe Root, ex-Australia spin king Shane Warne believes the incident could actually unite Australia “in a funny sort of way”.
Warner’s fists of fury earned him a suspension until the first Ashes Test on July 10 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, and a hefty fine of A$11,500 (£7,000, $11,000).
The incident between Warner and Root occurred on June 8 at the Walkabout bar in Birmingham, just hours after the arch-rivals squared off against each other in a highly anticipated Champions Trophy match.
The night started off well, with both teams having drinks together, but it soon turned ugly as Warner punched Root after he thought the 22-year-old Englishman was poking fun at South Africa’s Hashim Amla by wearing a fake beard.
However, England team officials were quick to defend Root, stating that he was making fun of himself after his team-mates had taunted him for being too young to grow facial hair.
“In a funny sort of way this could bring Australia together,” Warne wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph. “I think it is a chance for them to gel together.
“They really have to take this opportunity to sit down and have a chat about what they want to achieve. After this incident England could be thinking to themselves Australia are there for the taking, but if Australia regroup then they might get a surprise.”
Warner was in the media spotlight last month as well as he launched a verbal tirade on Twitter against two News Limited journalists, which earned him yet another fine of A$5,750.
Reminiscing about his own international career, Warne noted that team discipline should be one of the top priorities for all teams nowadays since they are role models to thousands of children around the world.
“I was one of a group of young guys… rubbing shoulders with David Boon, Allan Border and Ian Healy,” Warne said. “If you were not on time for the bus or out too late they absolutely nailed you verbally. You felt embarrassed and as if you had let the team down.
“We had a saying: ‘Before midnight is your time. After midnight is cricket time’. If you can’t do what you want before midnight it’s not worth doing.”
Ex-England captain Michael Atherton, who is now The Times’ cricket correspondent, reiterated Warne’s point and added that Australia skipper Michael Clarke has to do everything in his power to maintain the image of his country in the lead-up to and during the Ashes.
“The early part of any tour is vital for a captain to set out his stall, but Clarke has been absent…The team need their captain like never before,” he wrote.