Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia all-rounder James Faulkner will be charged for driving under the influence of alcohol after he spent Thursday night in prison in Manchester.
Faulkner, whose blood alcohol level was found to be twice the legal limit in England, was arrested after going out with Tasmania team-mate Tim Paine.
Faulkner will appear in court in Manchester on July 21 and may also be dropped for the ODI series that follows the Ashes as he was charged under Cricket Australia’s code of conduct as well.
Cricket Australia charged Faulkner for “conduct that is unbecoming of a representative or official and harmful to the interests of cricket” and confirmed that the 25-year-old may be banned for up to eight matches.
“It’s anywhere between two and eight points, which is two or eight games,” team performance manager Pat Howard said after meeting Faulkner in Manchester on Friday morning. “We’ll take that information on board as well in terms of dealing with the selectors, and if he’s only available for part of the tour we might just say ‘sorry, you’re off the tour’.
“I have made contact with James to understand the facts of the matter. It is clear that he made a very poor decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking and that decision had clear potential to cause serious harm to him and others.
“It is also clear that he is very disappointed and embarrassed by his actions given his position as a role model to young people. This is a very real wake-up call for James and all other Australian cricketers around the importance of responsible decision making.
“I have expressed my extreme disappointment and have informed him of the consequences under English law and Cricket Australia’s own regulations.”
While Howard doesn’t mind the Australian players enjoying themselves on tour, he made it clear that Faulkner had overstepped the mark by a large margin.
“We enjoy people doing things in moderation and he well and truly overstepped that boundary,” Howard said. “The decision to jump into a car behind the wheel was a very bad decision and as a consequence he’s going to have to deal with that. I’m really disappointed for him, but we’re really disappointed in him.”
Faulkner acknowledged that he had made a grave mistake and will accept his punishment, no matter how severe it is.
“I can’t excuse my actions and understand that I have let people down,” he said. “My decision to drive was an error in judgement. I apologise unreservedly and accept any penalty handed to me by Cricket Australia and the relevant authorities.”