Australia v India, Carlton Mid Tri-Series, Melbourne January 19, 2015

Warner fined over Rohit spat


David Warner has been fined 50% of his match fee from the Melbourne ODI © Getty Images

David Warner has defended his use of the words "speak English" during an on-field squabble with Rohit Sharma during Sunday's ODI at the MCG, but has been fined 50% of his match fee over the incident. Warner admitted during a radio interview on Monday morning that he was in the wrong by engaging with Rohit.

The incident occurred at the end of the 23rd over of India's innings, when India took an overthrow and the Australians showed their displeasure, seemingly believing the ball had ricocheted off Rohit's legs. Replays suggested that was not necessarily the case, but during the crossover at the end of the over the umpire had to step in to hose down a verbal stoush between Warner and Rohit.

"On the cricket etiquette side of things when you throw a ball to the keeper and it hits a player you don't run," Warner said on Sky Sports Radio on Monday. "A few of the boys said something to him and when I went over to say something he sort of said something in their language and I said 'speak English', because if you're going to say something for me to understand theoretically, I cannot speak Hindi.

"So I did the polite thing and asked him to speak English, therefore he did, and I can't repeat what he said. I thought I was okay by asking him to speak English and I'm going to say it a couple of times if he keeps saying it in Hindi. I got slapped on the wrist yesterday by the ICC, I shouldn't have engaged him and should have went to the other side to my fielding position, but I didn't.

"The guys behind the wicket said it hit him. I walked in because I presumed it hit him as well. I was in the wrong. What he was saying to me I asked him to speak English. I got in trouble for engaging the player, which technically you're not allowed to do that now … You're not supposed to walk at the player. It was between overs and I should have walked around to my fielding position."

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann said his side would always "teeter pretty close to" the line of acceptability, but he admitted the Warner-Rohit incident was not a good look for the game. Lehmann said Australia supported Warner's aggressive style but would work with him to ensure his behaviour was within acceptable standards.

"It's not a great look," Lehmann said. "The ICC have done something about it. At the end of the day we have to work better at those situations and get better as a group ... Davey said he's been fined 50%, so we'll deal with that and move on. It's not an ideal scenario, but we've got to make sure we're playing the cricket we want to play without crossing the line.

"David's an aggressive character and we support that. It's just making sure he does the right things on the ground, and he knows that more than most. We'll work with him with that. We've just got to be mindful of the game of cricket, it's an important entertainment spectacle for people around the world. We've got to make sure we play hard but fair, and don't cross the line."

The incident led to a wide range of criticism, including an editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald that slammed Warner's actions and cricket's lack of leadership in dealing with sledging.

"Warner has confirmed he used the words, but says he did so politely," the newspaper said. "His intentions certainly did not look polite. Warner deserves to be roundly condemned. Remarks such as these have no place on the cricket field or anywhere else.

"[F]ines are no deterrent to poor behaviour if that behaviour helps a side dominate its opponent. That is not good enough. Effective deterrence is needed here. Whatever measures are adopted in response to unacceptable sledging should be designed to stamp the practice out."

The stoush marred Australia's four-wicket win at the MCG, where there were also serious concerns about Australia's shoddy over-rate during India's innings. Stand-in captain George Bailey was suspended for the next match against England in Hobart on Friday after Australia's bowling effort went 26 minutes over time.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Channan on January 24, 2015, 14:50 GMT

    If ICC really wants to stop this nonsense, suspend him for 6 games. If it happens again, suspend him for one year. When three or 4 players shout in the umpire's face more than once during an appeal for a caught behind etc., suspend each player for 6 games. This is the only way for cricket to be a gentleman's game again.

  • Swastik on January 22, 2015, 13:53 GMT

    Rightly so. Dave should concentrate on his game as he has the quality to become a legend but it is these things which pull him down. Haddin is a mediocre and old player who has no business on the field and keeps ruining the spirit of the game he cannot contribute to.

  • Blessing on January 22, 2015, 6:43 GMT

    This lad seriously needs to grow up and focus on his cricket an nothing else on the field of play. And i am really sick of Aus players behaving in an unsporty manner and saying it is "aggression" or the "Aus way". It is appalling to say the least!

  • Fallon on January 22, 2015, 5:16 GMT

    Is Warnie at it again? Did he apologize again? Did he talk about crossing the line again? Did his management support him again? Is Warnie fined again? Did he talk about crossing the line again? It is about time I saw players punch each other and show aggression, trust me the crowd and the press is going to LOVE IT!!

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2015, 10:58 GMT

    Why is everyone implying that Warner has every right to know what Rohit is saying. No Davey has no such rights. The umpires and the match ref. will do that if they find a reason for it. The whole point of saying something to someone on the cricket field, is termed as 'sledging'. In layman's terms, this is mindless garbage talk. No anyone's business. Not needed and not part of the game. If you want to be a part of it, then be prepared to get crap in any language. After all, it is all garbage and the only purpose of it is to rile the opposition. In that regard, it is perfect way to sledge someone. i.e. say something that the other person does not get. Good on ya Rohit.Davey deserves it more than anyone. I hope all Indian players do that.

  • Jake on January 21, 2015, 10:11 GMT

    Warner reacts to niggles from the Indian players. Dumb on his part, cunning and calculated on theirs.

  • elvis on January 21, 2015, 5:56 GMT

    what is it with the aussies and the indians and there sledging,i play the game and as a batsman i sledge the bowler but with a smile on my face i love the game but i respect the opponent also so wise up fello players

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2015, 4:40 GMT

    A fine is not enough. It should also include a ban. This goes for any player from any nation.

  • Dummy on January 20, 2015, 18:31 GMT

    Totally agree with Jimmyvida..should be some rules about is..

  • Channan on January 20, 2015, 17:00 GMT

    Why not implement a system similar to soccer. Similar but not identical. For a serious, improper, unwarranted behaviour that player would miss the next game. And since cricket is still a gentleman's game, a second offence should see the player suspended for say 5 games and a third offence a one year ban. That should teach them.