Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England Test captain Joe Root has admitted that Australia opener David Warner could be targeted by English fans if he is picked for next year’s Ashes series.
Warner is currently serving a 12-month ban for his involvement in a ball tampering scandal during Australia’s tour of South Africa in March. However, he will be eligible to represent his country again when the Ashes are held in England from August to September.
In addition to Warner, Steve Smith was banned for 12 months, while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
Warner has also been in trouble in the past as he punched Root in a bar in Birmingham during the 2013 Champions Trophy.
When asked what kind of reception Warner will receive if he feature in next year’s Ashes, Root was quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “I’m sure he will have to accustom himself to what might be a slightly hostile environment from the English public but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when he comes over in the summer, if he does.
“I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone but time will tell as to what happens in the future.”
Warner recently made headlines as he walked off the field midway through his innings while playing grade cricket in Sydney. It is understood that he was less than impressed with sledges directed at him by Jason Hughes, who is the brother of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes, who died after being struck by a bouncer in 2014.
Warner later returned to the middle and went on to score a century.
Upon being questioned about whether he had been tempted to leave the field due to being the victim of verbal abuse, Root said: “No, I haven’t.”
Root added that he cannot say whether Warner’s actions were justified as it remains unclear as to what Hughes said to the 32-year-old.
“You don’t know what was said and you don’t know what was involved and what happened out there,” Root said. “It is something you don’t see very often, but unless you know exactly what went on out there you can’t say if it was a justified thing or not.”