This, that and the other. Mostly the other
You will know by now that David Warner was dropped from Australia's team after taking a wild swing at England's Joe Root and succeeding only in getting a faint nick. They were in a Walkabout at the time and Root was in possession of a wig, but we'll come to those details in a bit.
The incident continues a rich tradition of Australian cricketers getting hammered during one-day competitions taking place in England. In 2005, Andrew Symonds was suspended after turning up drunk on the morning of a match.
Ricky Ponting described that famous incident thus:
"He based himself on the edge of that group and leaned against a wheelie bin that was on the edge of the field. As he did so he fell over."
If we review that event in the light of the Warner incident, might it be that Symonds mistook a wheelie bin for "the wheelie bin", Ashley Giles?
Perhaps there is something more sinister going on here, with Australia actively implementing a policy where players are encouraged to drink heavily in order that they can attain the level of courage needed to attack a member of the England team. Rumours that Xavier Doherty sustained acute alcohol poisoning in 2010 while building up to an attempted slap of Chris Tremlett cannot currently be confirmed.
However, while premeditated violence would be shocking, it would not be as disgraceful as one aspect of the story that can be proven - the location. Walkabout is a chain of Australian-themed bars that uses the slogan: "Home of the awesome spirit of Australia", while the Birmingham branch describes itself as "the only place in the Midlands you are guaranteed to have a good time!"
Perhaps that boast is aimed solely at homesick Aussies who can't buy a run, because native Brummies can surely find better things to do than having someone lamp them in the face shortly after they've finished a plate of "mini roo sticks".
But why would either Warner or Root go to a Walkabout? This the real question. Why would an Australian deign to frequent an Australian-themed bar in England? Surely that's even more pathetic than English cricketers taking tins of beans with them on a tour of India. Maybe Warner took a look at his surroundings and concluded that he was at the Australian embassy. At least with that explanation, he only comes across as being stupid.
The case against Root is even more damning, however. There can be no possible justification for an English cricketer being in Walkabout - it is basically an act of treason. He should have been in a proper boozer, quaffing real ale from a pint pot with a handle.
This may explain the wig he was sporting (because nothing else does). Hopefully he was in disguise, hoping that no one would stop him to say: "Oi, Root - what are you doing here? You should be in a proper boozer quaffing real ale from a pint pot with a handle."
Neither player has been given appropriate punishment. That Root can escape censure when there's a good chance he may have been drinking bottled beer in an Australian-themed bar is beyond belief, while David Warner has actually been rewarded by being allowed to skip Australia's last match, thus sidestepping the criticism he would have fully deserved following yet another low score.
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket
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