Champions Trophy 2013 June 13, 2013

Warner publicly apologises for Root punch

ESPNcricinfo staff
26

David Warner has publicly apologised for his bar-room altercation with Joe Root in Birmingham last week, which has seen him suspended until the first Ashes Test.

In front of a phalanx of TV cameras and photographers, Warner faced the press for the first time since the incident, and he accepted that he had to be "a bit smarter with what I do on and off the field". Australia captain Michael Clarke termed Warner's behaviour "unacceptable" and would not be drawn into endorsing Warner's leadership qualities as he had done in the past.

"I'm here today to apologise publicly and put my hand up and say I am responsible for my actions," Warner said. "I am extremely remorseful. I have let my team-mates down, the support staff, myself and my family."

Cricket Australia has already fined him and he has also been suspended for the rest of the Champions Trophy, as well as two Ashes warm-up matches. "I have accepted the punishment. It is up to me to do everything I can to help the team to progress in the Champions Trophy, and move on to have a great preparation for the Ashes."

Warner didn't expand on the details about the incident with Root - and would not confirm or deny that fancy dress was involved - but accepted that he had been drinking. "I definitely remember the night. It started out with a few drinks in the bar and as a team we went to the Walkabout. I made a mistake and I put my hand up," he said, adding that he had already apologised to Root. "I have exchanged text messages with Joe. He accepted my apology, which I am thoroughly grateful for."

He also denied he had a drinking problem. "I don't think I have a drink problem at all. I've got to make the right decisions at the right time. That night wasn't a good time to go out and have a beer. We'd lost the game, and even though we'd had a day off we'd still lost. We don't have curfews, but looking back I shouldn't have been in that situation."

This was Warner's second disciplinary problem in less than a month - having earlier had a Twitter spat with two journalists, Malcolm Conn and Robert Craddock, last month. "Although the punishment for David is quite harsh, that's the reality when you play for the Australian cricket team," Clarke said. "This is not an IPL team, this is not state cricket, it's not county cricket, when you play for Australia there are standards you have to uphold."

"It's probably not the right time for me to sit here and be bragging about David's leadership qualities," Clarke added. "I've said in the past that he does have a lot of leadership qualities, but right now as captain of this Australian team, he knows very clearly how I feel. His behaviour is unacceptable as an Australian cricketer."

Clarke said that Warner "deserves credit" for owning up to his mistake. "I respect the fact David has put his hand up and wants to move forward, has apologised to Joe, and acknowledged he has made a big mistake. He does deserve credit for putting his hand up."

Clarke felt the next few weeks provide Warner a chance to show his maturity, and insisted the incident wouldn't disturb Australia's Ashes preparations. "I've said for a long time it's not what you say, it's what you do, and this is an opportunity for Warner to show the world what he does rather than what he says. We'll be 100% ready for the Ashes. There's no doubt about it."

Warner admitted he was thankful to still be part of the tour, although with a lack of warm-up matches his chances of appearing in the first Test at Trent Bridge appear slim. "I'm grateful to still be on this tour," he said. "I've got no cricket in the next month so I will have to go back into the nets and prepare as well as I can, and help my team-mates that I've let down as much as I can.

"It's disappointing to have two incidents in a matter of months. It's come three, four weeks after that incident out in India as well, so I have to keep moving on from this."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 14, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Not a very convincing apology at all. Should be sent home

  • Shaggy076 on June 14, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Thats twice now I have heard Warner make apologies. Each time emotionless like he is only making the apology because he has to. He seems to lack remorse. I think as a cricketer I thought he was never going to make it, however in test cricket against South Africa and Sri Lanka at home he surprised me that he could possibly make it. Now I dont want this sort of bloke given the opportunities to play for AUstralia when his results and actions are not befitting of an Australian player. Hopefully Rogers and Cowan etc take this opportunity and keep Warner out for good.

  • Biggus on June 14, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    'Unfortunate' is an dubious choice of word, given that it implies that Warner throwing a punch at Root had something to do with bad luck, rather than his inability to think before he acts. If we're going to invoke fortune we can say that Warner is fortunate that he didn't connect with any great force, as then the incident wouldn't be settled with a handshake or the exchange of text messages. Despite all the blah about taking responsibility for this it sounds to me like he's saying it because he knows that's what he's supposed to say (not to mention that he has a very grumpy captain next to him), but that, in a psychological sense he's still somewhat in denial about the base causes of his 'misfortune'. We will see.....

  • ygkd on June 14, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Once is a one-off. Twice is a pattern. Three-times becomes a joke. Behaviour? No, I'm talking about the number of times in succession that an over-rated batsman can chuck his wicket away because the bowling tightens up and still remain vastly over-rated. Solid is not a word I would use for such play. Unfortunate is not a word I would use to describe the inevitable result. Missed is not how I would describe such a player in his absence.

  • AvmanM on June 14, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    If Warner has apologized and Joe Root has accepted his apology, why is everyone making a big deal of this? I think Clarke, Sutherland and others need to accept that, in the words of George Bailey, the matter has been settled in-house and no further publicity is needed.

  • Haiphong on June 14, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    "Unfortunate"??? I say FORTUNATE. Warner's potential exclusion possibly means that Rogers and/or Khawaja gets in - and that's GOOD for Australia!

  • on June 14, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    agree completely with you Dalaji. Looking at that photo with Clarke nearby, it looks as though he wants to burst out laughing. He is just a big kid, and he is the worst possible candidate for leader in my opinion, whether he can play the game or not.

  • zeus_kris on June 14, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    Can't understand why Clarke keeps talking about Warner's leadership credentials. If show-off Warner is the best leader Australia could muster, then I feel sorry for this team. Get Tim Paine into the team in place of Matthew Wade and make him captain. George Bailey must be wondering what more he should do to be considered captaincy material.

  • KingOwl on June 14, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    Clarke says: This is not an IPL team, this is the Aus team; there are standards to maintain!! Hilarious. So, I suppose IPL has no standards?

  • Biggus on June 14, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Unfortunate is an unfortunate choice of word, since it implies that fortune, or luck, had something to do with the incident occurring, whereas it's actually all down to Warner's inability to think things through before he acts. Whether he actually gets this or thinks he was unlucky in this instance remains to be seen, but if we're going to invoke fortune in relation to this incident one thing can be said for certain:- He was fortunate that he didn't connect properly when he struck out at Root, and it wouldn't have been settled then with a handshake or an exchange of texts. Despite all this blah about putting his hand up and accepting responsibility I can't help thinking he's saying it because he knows it's what he's supposed to say but is still psychologically in denial about the root causes (sorry for the pun) of his 'misfortune'. We'll see.....

  • on June 14, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Not a very convincing apology at all. Should be sent home

  • Shaggy076 on June 14, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Thats twice now I have heard Warner make apologies. Each time emotionless like he is only making the apology because he has to. He seems to lack remorse. I think as a cricketer I thought he was never going to make it, however in test cricket against South Africa and Sri Lanka at home he surprised me that he could possibly make it. Now I dont want this sort of bloke given the opportunities to play for AUstralia when his results and actions are not befitting of an Australian player. Hopefully Rogers and Cowan etc take this opportunity and keep Warner out for good.

  • Biggus on June 14, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    'Unfortunate' is an dubious choice of word, given that it implies that Warner throwing a punch at Root had something to do with bad luck, rather than his inability to think before he acts. If we're going to invoke fortune we can say that Warner is fortunate that he didn't connect with any great force, as then the incident wouldn't be settled with a handshake or the exchange of text messages. Despite all the blah about taking responsibility for this it sounds to me like he's saying it because he knows that's what he's supposed to say (not to mention that he has a very grumpy captain next to him), but that, in a psychological sense he's still somewhat in denial about the base causes of his 'misfortune'. We will see.....

  • ygkd on June 14, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Once is a one-off. Twice is a pattern. Three-times becomes a joke. Behaviour? No, I'm talking about the number of times in succession that an over-rated batsman can chuck his wicket away because the bowling tightens up and still remain vastly over-rated. Solid is not a word I would use for such play. Unfortunate is not a word I would use to describe the inevitable result. Missed is not how I would describe such a player in his absence.

  • AvmanM on June 14, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    If Warner has apologized and Joe Root has accepted his apology, why is everyone making a big deal of this? I think Clarke, Sutherland and others need to accept that, in the words of George Bailey, the matter has been settled in-house and no further publicity is needed.

  • Haiphong on June 14, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    "Unfortunate"??? I say FORTUNATE. Warner's potential exclusion possibly means that Rogers and/or Khawaja gets in - and that's GOOD for Australia!

  • on June 14, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    agree completely with you Dalaji. Looking at that photo with Clarke nearby, it looks as though he wants to burst out laughing. He is just a big kid, and he is the worst possible candidate for leader in my opinion, whether he can play the game or not.

  • zeus_kris on June 14, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    Can't understand why Clarke keeps talking about Warner's leadership credentials. If show-off Warner is the best leader Australia could muster, then I feel sorry for this team. Get Tim Paine into the team in place of Matthew Wade and make him captain. George Bailey must be wondering what more he should do to be considered captaincy material.

  • KingOwl on June 14, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    Clarke says: This is not an IPL team, this is the Aus team; there are standards to maintain!! Hilarious. So, I suppose IPL has no standards?

  • Biggus on June 14, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Unfortunate is an unfortunate choice of word, since it implies that fortune, or luck, had something to do with the incident occurring, whereas it's actually all down to Warner's inability to think things through before he acts. Whether he actually gets this or thinks he was unlucky in this instance remains to be seen, but if we're going to invoke fortune in relation to this incident one thing can be said for certain:- He was fortunate that he didn't connect properly when he struck out at Root, and it wouldn't have been settled then with a handshake or an exchange of texts. Despite all this blah about putting his hand up and accepting responsibility I can't help thinking he's saying it because he knows it's what he's supposed to say but is still psychologically in denial about the root causes (sorry for the pun) of his 'misfortune'. We'll see.....

  • Wacco on June 14, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    When you are not capable of wining or even scared of losing these things happen. I cannot imagine this from even from a fringe player during the days of Waugh, Taylor or Ponting doing these craps. Only exception being Symonds - they were in the tapering end of his career though.

  • Chris_P on June 13, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Well, at this rate, by the next few incidents, he will be an expert of apologizing for his mistakes & would have learnt enough to claim being a genius. He is not a kid, just a totally overpaid, irresponsible, immature person who is not justifying any of the accolades, money & otherwise he is reaping in. This behaviour is totally unacceptable in any society, yet he still isn't learning. I am over him, big time. Over-rated, over paid, & over there.

  • on June 13, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Looks like he is going the Andy Symonds way...

  • Jda123 on June 13, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Hell at least it created some hype towards the Ashes because it's dead really... England will win, the Australians just cant get it right.

  • Ms.Cricket on June 13, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    David Warner is at best a mediocre player, one good innings in six on average. In the past more talented players have been banished permanently for less. The current Australian leadership has no guts.

  • on June 13, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Maybe there is still hope that he will play in CT. Especially if England give a thumping to NZ, it will be very unfair to keep Warner out of the SL encounter - such an iron fist he is!

  • markatnotts on June 13, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Have to think the whole incident has just been sensationalised by the excesses if the world we now live in. Root is fine, Warner is fine, there is no problem in my view with Oz and English players being out for a beer or two either. Apparently no one from either team present was absolutely legless. Roll on the Ashes and I am sure the pair will have a beer together at some point.

  • njr1330 on June 13, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    'Although the punishment...is quite harsh...' Really...on which planet would that be!! So, you get sent home and dismissed from the Tour, for failing to put a piece of paper under the coach's door; but you don' get sent home for a drink-related assault in a public place. Some mistake surely...as Private Eye used to say!

  • on June 13, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    I have seen nothing in the media coverage detailing how the incident became known to the press and to the English and Australian cricket authorities. I would have thought that was a rather important piece of the story.

  • Baundele on June 13, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    While drunk such things can happen. It would be serious if he punched Root under normal circumstances. Warner's behavior indicates an unhappy Aussie dressing room.

  • SaravananIsTheBest on June 13, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Unfortunate is the word. Step out, think back & regroup. We need a Solid Warner up for the Ashes.

  • chechong0114 on June 13, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    I am not surprise of this slap on the wrist that David Warner has received nor that the ICC has taken a hands off approach in this matter leaving the issue to CA to settle it just shows again something that I have said before and cotinue to believe in that these australians are a law unto themselves in the cricketing world, had it been any other cricketing nation that did this there would have been far greater consequences but CA is an ICC in itself. Attacking another player unprovoked and then being suspended till the first game of the Ashes series how much cricket do they play before the Ashes anyway? But let this serve as an eye opener to other players that the Australians look after their own and thats why they have been a dominant force in world cricket for so many years. Take that Dinesh Ramdin.

  • on June 13, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    What I can see is Australia struggling without good leadership and guidance like Steve waugh and Ponting

  • spongebat_squarestumps on June 13, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Davey, it's time you grew up fella. We've supported you and expect much from the talent we know you posses. Don't let there be a third incident...

  • northumbriannomad on June 13, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Why do they all have to "put their hand up"? What does it even mean? Michael Vaughan started it, putting his hand up all the time. I think they should keep their hands by their sides.

    In all seriousness, though, good for him for apologizing. But it's a bit surreal and ridiculous, the whole thing. I'm trying to imagine Merv Hughes or Matty Hayden uttering the words "He accepted my apology, which I am thoroughly grateful for" and I can't do it. It all comes across as a bit insincere, this ritual cleansing before the media, like when McCauley Culkin's mean brother "apologizes" to him in front of the family in "Home Alone". It's all about appearances, sponsorship cred, nothing to do with real character. Sign of the times.

  • onlinebz08 on June 13, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Best of luck Warner. Hope no more bad incident for u

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  • onlinebz08 on June 13, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Best of luck Warner. Hope no more bad incident for u

  • northumbriannomad on June 13, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Why do they all have to "put their hand up"? What does it even mean? Michael Vaughan started it, putting his hand up all the time. I think they should keep their hands by their sides.

    In all seriousness, though, good for him for apologizing. But it's a bit surreal and ridiculous, the whole thing. I'm trying to imagine Merv Hughes or Matty Hayden uttering the words "He accepted my apology, which I am thoroughly grateful for" and I can't do it. It all comes across as a bit insincere, this ritual cleansing before the media, like when McCauley Culkin's mean brother "apologizes" to him in front of the family in "Home Alone". It's all about appearances, sponsorship cred, nothing to do with real character. Sign of the times.

  • spongebat_squarestumps on June 13, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Davey, it's time you grew up fella. We've supported you and expect much from the talent we know you posses. Don't let there be a third incident...

  • on June 13, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    What I can see is Australia struggling without good leadership and guidance like Steve waugh and Ponting

  • chechong0114 on June 13, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    I am not surprise of this slap on the wrist that David Warner has received nor that the ICC has taken a hands off approach in this matter leaving the issue to CA to settle it just shows again something that I have said before and cotinue to believe in that these australians are a law unto themselves in the cricketing world, had it been any other cricketing nation that did this there would have been far greater consequences but CA is an ICC in itself. Attacking another player unprovoked and then being suspended till the first game of the Ashes series how much cricket do they play before the Ashes anyway? But let this serve as an eye opener to other players that the Australians look after their own and thats why they have been a dominant force in world cricket for so many years. Take that Dinesh Ramdin.

  • SaravananIsTheBest on June 13, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Unfortunate is the word. Step out, think back & regroup. We need a Solid Warner up for the Ashes.

  • Baundele on June 13, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    While drunk such things can happen. It would be serious if he punched Root under normal circumstances. Warner's behavior indicates an unhappy Aussie dressing room.

  • on June 13, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    I have seen nothing in the media coverage detailing how the incident became known to the press and to the English and Australian cricket authorities. I would have thought that was a rather important piece of the story.

  • njr1330 on June 13, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    'Although the punishment...is quite harsh...' Really...on which planet would that be!! So, you get sent home and dismissed from the Tour, for failing to put a piece of paper under the coach's door; but you don' get sent home for a drink-related assault in a public place. Some mistake surely...as Private Eye used to say!

  • markatnotts on June 13, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Have to think the whole incident has just been sensationalised by the excesses if the world we now live in. Root is fine, Warner is fine, there is no problem in my view with Oz and English players being out for a beer or two either. Apparently no one from either team present was absolutely legless. Roll on the Ashes and I am sure the pair will have a beer together at some point.