Champions Trophy 2013 June 13, 2013

Warner publicly apologises for Root punch

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2013, 11:43 GMT

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

  • Graham 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.

  • Richard 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.....

  • Philip 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.

  • Mirza Avman 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.

  • Humayoon 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!

  • Dummy4 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 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.

  • Chatty 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?

  • Richard 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.....

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