Australia news May 22, 2013

Warner fined for Twitter outburst

David Warner has been fined A$5750 (around US$5600) for his Twitter outburst at two Australian journalists at the weekend. Warner pleaded guilty to breaching the Cricket Australia Code of Behaviour when he launched a tirade of tweets at the News Limited journalists Robert Craddock and Malcolm Conn during the early hours of Saturday morning, initially in response to a comment piece on the IPL written by Craddock and later as part of a back-and-forth exchange with Conn.

Warner, who returned to Australia from the IPL on Wednesday, was found guilty at a Code of Behaviour hearing and received the maximum financial penalty for a first offence. He had been reported by Cricket Australia for unbecoming behaviour.

"In hindsight, clearly I let my frustrations get the better of me and posted some inappropriate tweets last weekend," Warner said after the hearing. "While I disagreed with the story and my image being used alongside the story, I could have chosen my words better and I apologise for any offence that my language may have caused. I'll continue to have honest conversations with all my followers and I will be mindful of the language I use in future."

Warner's comments might have earned him a fine but have not had a major effect on his future leadership ambitions, according to the Cricket Australia hierarchy. Warner was briefly named vice-captain of Australia's ODI team early in 2012 and has been considered a potential future leader of the national side, although he was overlooked for the vice-captaincy this year when Brad Haddin was named Michael Clarke's deputy for the Ashes and George Bailey for the Champions Trophy.

"'You never rule a line through someone in terms of their ultimate leadership potential in terms of a captain or vice-captain," James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said. "There are plenty of players in the past that have tripped themselves up and gone on to become fantastic leaders in Australian cricket and I'm sure David is one of those that could continue to step up as a leader even if he never gets a title."

Clarke agreed that Warner had leadership potential and said there would be no chance that the Australia players would scale back their social media output as a result of the episode.

"The one thing I've been very disciplined about is allowing people to be themselves," Clarke said. "At the end of the day we're all old enough and wise enough to know what you are required to do as an Australian cricketer. There's certainly been no talk of stopping players using social media, I think it's a fantastic way to give back to fans.

"I think Davey has great potential to be a leader of the Australian cricket team. He's a wonderful guy and wonderful player. He's learnt from this ... and if he continues to grow as he has over the last few years, there's no reason why he hasn't got the potential to captain Australia one day."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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