Australia opener David Warner has said that his infamous punch-up with England batsman Joe Root in 2013 helped him shed his old ways and transform into the cricketer and man he is today.
The incident, which took place during the last edition of the Champions Trophy in 2013, saw Warner fined and suspended.
But, fast forward four years later and Warner has become a totally different person as he is focused on family life and scaling the highest peaks when it comes to his cricketing career.
“It was a learning curve for myself,” Warner said. “I was young and now I’m old. I’ve two kids and I’m married. There’s a lot of settling down there.
“It definitely was [pivotal] to me becoming the person I am today; not just the cricketer. We all go through periods when we’re young and naïve. It’s not about stuffing up and moving on, it’s about learning the ropes of being away on tour for such a long period of time. There are things you have to think about as a youngster: what you can or can’t I do.
“I probably didn’t work that out at that stage. But now I have and I have a great balance on and off the field.”
In fact, Warner’s transformation has been so significant that he has earned the nickname of ‘Rev’, which is short for The Reverend David Warner, due to the fact that he gave up alcohol a few years ago.
However, back in the day, his nickname, rather unsurprisingly, used to be ‘Bull’.
“The bull can still come out here and there,” he said. “It just depends on what day you get me. Most of the time, I’m probably the reverend – as they say – but look, it’s about winning games for Australia and being the best person I can around the team and around people outside cricket.”
While Warner is more than happy to revisit the Walkabout bar where the incident between him and Root occurred, he pointed out that his side of the story was not really taken to heart.
At the time, it was reported that Root was messing around with a wig, which Warner took exception to as he thought the England batsman was mocking South Africa opener Hashim Amla.
However, Root strongly refuted those rumours, stating that he was making fun of himself.
“People didn’t look too far or deep into it to see who was in the right or wrong,” Warner said. “But that’s all gone, it’s in the past and we can tell a happily ever after story at the end of my career.
“If they [at Walkabout] give me a couple of free drinks, some diet cokes, and the rest of the boys they can shout them a table. And if I see Joe I’ll give him a handshake.”