Australia in South Africa 2013-14

Warner fined for sharp-practice comments

Daniel Brettig

February 27, 2014

Comments: 63 | Text size: A | A

David Warner swats the ball over the on-side, South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth, 2nd day, February 21, 2014
David Warner has lost 15% of his match fee for his comments on South Africa's handling of the ball © Getty Images

David Warner, the Australia opener, has been fined for his suggestion that South Africa's burst of reverse swing to win the Port Elizabeth Test was achieved by suspicious means.

Following the conclusion of the Test, Warner told an Australian radio station that he had kept an eye on the conduct of the wicketkeeper AB de Villiers, claiming that he may have used his gloves to scrape the ball.

This accusation was rejected by South African management, while both the bowling coach Craig McDermott and the fast bowler Ryan Harris have spoken adamantly that the hosts did nothing wrong in their care of the ball.

Warner was subsequently cited under the ICC Code of conduct, for a level one breach of article 2.1.7. He has accepted the penalty, a 15% fine of his match fee ($2880). The relevant article reads:

"Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an International Match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match official or team participating in any International Match, irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made."

The charge was laid by the presiding ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama, who said Warner's words had been inappropriate and disrespectful.

"It was disrespectful for David to publicly denigrate an opponent when commenting on a match-related incident, and imply that a South African player was engaging in sharp practice. I'm sure David will be careful when making public comments in future."

Harris spoke for the majority of his team-mates in asserting that none of de Villiers, Dale Steyn or any other member of the team did anything untoward in Port Elizabeth.

"I've got no doubt what they did was fine, otherwise the umpires and the match referee would have done something," Harris said. "You're referring to Davey Warner's comments obviously.

"They've obviously looked after the ball a lot better than us, and if there's anything illegal about it I'm sure we would have heard about it by now. They've obviously had experience at that ground and knew what they had to do. AB was obviously doing something with his gloves. But it's not illegal otherwise the umpires would have done something. If he was doing something illegal, he would have been fined. You've got to do something with the ball, everyone does it.

"We didn't do it well enough so we've just got to make sure that if it happens here [Newlands], somehow we've got to get it going. Throwing it into the ground, that happens in every day cricket now as long as you're doing it from the outfield.

"There are things that are not secret because everyone does it, and then it's a matter of how you polish it up and what you do after that.

"But I think if there's any scratching or anything like that done, the umpires are checking the ball every 15 overs or whatever and if they see it, they'll change it and they'll make a report.

"Davey's comments were obviously wrong and thats been dealt with by the ICC. I dont really want to comment on that. They handled the ball better than us."

Harris said Australia had a stint in the nets against a scruffed up ball, to better equip their batsmen. Training against a worn out ball was important, he said. "I am probably also guilty of, in training, using the new ball too much. We need to use the old ball as well to give the batsmen practice."

Steyn, when asked about Warner's comments, said it would have been more appropriate if "people" appreciated the skills of the hosts' bowlers rather than questioning their tactics.

"It's not my business to get involved. When we were beaten at SuperSport Park, we went back to the drawing board and looked at how we could improve our game," Steyn said. "When you lose a game maybe that's what you should be doing.

"It would be a lot better if people talked about how well you executed your skills instead of looking at ways of how you got that skill."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Mindmeld on (March 6, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

Faf and Petersen said EXACTLY the same thing about Australia's reverse swing in the third test. Why were they not fined? Do you have to be Australian to be immoral in the cricket world?

Posted by LukeTL on (March 2, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

I agree with Warner the amound of swing the south africans gererated when the ball hadnt swung all game including for them, was a bit suspect !

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

Some of those comments seeming a bit silly now, a chance less run a ball century. Come on warner, 200 here

Posted by firey1 on (March 1, 2014, 2:30 GMT)

Onya Dave, just saying what we all think.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 28, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

2 Mike Gattings; Boof said his comment on a comedy radio station in AUstralia whilst the game was being played in England. The only thing he erred on was that someone was going to take his comments seriously. Its strange how the details of the comments are never put into articles. As for those condemning Australians as bad sports 1) Warner alone made the comments 2) I dont think he intended to be a bad sport he is just stupid.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

I think all the Sth African fans here generalising and taking a metaphorical number 2 all over Australians in General because of Warner's comments need to look in a mirror. You are showing an amazing lack of sportsmanship by putting an entire team, and country in some cases, down by your petty cheap shots. Yup, Warner has a big mouth, but he's one member of a very large team. Sth Africa played a great test, pity some of their fans ruin the good will they generate.

Posted by DustBowl on (February 28, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

Warner (numerous) and his coach Lehmann (Broad, SL) have a history of spouting off to the detriment of the sport and CA. Can't somebody control them? IN CONTRAST MacDermott has explained it all with a calm measured approach -see cricinfo article. Top bloke who hasn't had all the credit he deserved for Oz resurgence?

Posted by henchart on (February 28, 2014, 7:12 GMT)

Australia's best chance at Newlands is batting first.If Amla and Smith get going it is nothing but funeral for the visitors.SA are better balanced side whereas AUS over rely on MJ .Can Watson make the difference ?Smith and Faf are due runs big time and it would be in Aus interest if these two dont choose Newlands.In the same vein Clarke is also due for runs and so is Brad Haddin.All in all a mouth watering contest in store but hosts are the favourites.

Posted by Big-Dog on (February 28, 2014, 7:01 GMT)

I'm amazed CA hav'nt stepped in to muzzle Warner. His 'comments' have been a source of embarrassment for Australian cricket all summer.

Posted by oscoli67 on (February 28, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

solely within the last 12 months Warner has been .... 1) Fined after a twitter spat with one his own journalists whilst he was in India. He even temporarily retired his twitter account for that one! 2) Fined and banned for assaulting an opponent player in a Birmingham Australian themed public house. 3) Fined for "suggesting" that the opponents tampered with the ball to beat his team in South Africa. Three trips, 3 times in trouble ( I know he played in the IPL too ... and did his homework ... I'd love to see what he wrote!! ) The question needs to be asked, what is he doing still playing? Can it be because his coach, who has also been fined for a media outburst displays the same moral fibre as he does? They might be winning games & increasing their popularity at home, but elsewhere in the world these antics are making them a laughing stock. Where oh where will it end ?

Posted by millsy24 on (February 28, 2014, 4:22 GMT)

Well, the good thing is that the ICC have deemed it legal, so all keepers will be doing it now without worrying about getting into trouble for doing so.

Posted by AHallinan on (February 28, 2014, 4:02 GMT)

In one game of cricket I played the ball started reversing - I'd never seen it before and never did again. This was before all the talk about reverse swing came into the cricket commentary. The ball was swinging a mile and was unplayable - almost un-bowlable at times because I was used to it going the other way. We didn't do anything different to the ball, it just started doing it. Never saw it happen again.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 28, 2014, 3:28 GMT)

I must have missed the part where that clause says that you were proven to have lied. It just says you made a comment that as a professional cricketer you shouldn't be saying. Warner didn't lie and it was proven that he didn't. What he said was 100% accurate. It is just that the code of conduct prohibits you from saying anything even if it is 100% true. I disagree with this. And yes, that is why he got such a low charge.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

This is nothing but trouble act immature as always, but you have to give him credit since (Aussie, England and India) control the ICC so the wouldn't ban suspend him for a few matches.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (February 28, 2014, 2:37 GMT)

@ Khuram Noman

What are you talking about "I don't understand why they never accept defeat....shows they don't have Sportsmanship spirit"

Both Clarke and Harris have publicly stated that they were outplayed by SA. What more do you want? Maybe you shouldn't be as quick to judge a whole team based on one person.

Posted by HatsforBats on (February 28, 2014, 2:22 GMT)

After their first test decimation Graeme Smith belittled Johnson's recent achievements, claiming his wickets were largely those of tail-enders taken on bouncing, seaming, green monsters! This is clearly false, and even Smith's first hand knowledge of his own incapacity to score a significant amount of runs against Johnson without breaking a bone didn't hinder his comments. Maybe Steyn should pass on his advice about sportsmanship to his captain.

As for Warner, I don't know why so many people are up in arms, his mouth is bigger than the edge of his bat and he's been asked to do interviews for exactly that reason.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 2:15 GMT)

I remember steve waugh questioning wasim and waqar's ability to reverse swing during the 1999 world cup, don't remember a fine or reprimand back then. Also never after any accusation against Pakistan.

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (February 28, 2014, 1:07 GMT)

What's this? An Australian showing bad sportsmanship? Who would have thought it?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 23:57 GMT)

"Ponting's terrible legacy" = best Australian batsman since Bradman, more than 27,000 international runs. 71 international hundreds. A record 4 time winner of the Allan Border Medal. Captain of two World Cup winning sides, equal record 16 straight test victories. Most catches by an Australian "non-keeper". Undefeated as a captain in World Cups. Yup, 35 matches undefeated. What have you done??

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 27, 2014, 23:48 GMT)

@Adoh: Reverse swing also crucially depends on a bowlers wrist position and 'snap' on delivery, pace also helps with reverse swing. Steyn has a much better wrist position for reverse swing than Johnson or Morkel, for example.

How can this not be 'a skill'? Baffled.

Posted by indianzen on (February 27, 2014, 23:32 GMT)

An expected reaction when Aussies are loosing... Will be trashed by SA in the 3rd Test... Where was the same mouth when Aussies lost everything when they toured India Last year ?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 23:21 GMT)

David is a huge embarrassment to cricket.

Posted by Shongololo on (February 27, 2014, 22:12 GMT)

Match fee fines don't work...which is why the spineless ICC uses them most of the time. Start dishing out game bans and you'll start to see a decline in this boorish behaviour from the likes of Warner.

Posted by Shongololo on (February 27, 2014, 22:04 GMT)

"When you lose a game maybe that's what you should be doing." Spot on, Dale. Cricket 101. Take note, Australia.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

This is a gentleman game. Shame about you to say the thing like that after loosing the game.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 21:41 GMT)

if this umargul, then there was something for sure not skills

Posted by chechong0114 on (February 27, 2014, 20:08 GMT)

This is why AUS cricket will continue to dominate the world and countries like Bangladesh will continue to struggle at the bottom of the barrel in world cricket. Shakib-Ul-Hassan suspended 3 games for simply scratching a part of his body when the camera just happened to focus on him. And David Warner making an eronious statement that can be clearly considered as bringing the game into disrepute and all he gets is a i5% fine.

Posted by Adoh on (February 27, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

Most comments here suggest that the condition of the ball is what causes reverse swing - even the bowlers are suggesting this. IMHO I believe this is a little simplistic, it is much more likely to be a combination of ball condition and environmental conditions (air pressure, humidity, wind velocity, temperature). The problem is, of course, nobody knows precisely what those conditions are, otherwise we'd be seeing reverse swing every match and every innings. If the ball isn't in the right condition, and the environmental conditions are not conducive, the ball will not reverse. I don't see what this has to do with skill. I don't think the ability to damage one half of a ball whilst protecting the other half qualifies as a skill.

Posted by SevereCritic on (February 27, 2014, 18:48 GMT)

Surprised he got away with only a small fine. Calling your opponent a cheat without any substantial evidence is very juvenile and not appropriate behavior for a sport-star representing his country. Sets very bad example for younger generation watching the game.

Posted by Letmetellyou on (February 27, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

Warner is a sore loser...

Thanks to the Pakistanis for inventing reverse swing even though they've never really been given the credit they deserved. A masterful craft which when perfected is a incredible spectacle to behold, especially when that perfectionist is Dale Steyn.

Posted by cloudmess on (February 27, 2014, 18:28 GMT)

Good to see the Australians still make excuses and point the finger elsewhere when they lose. I'm also not convinced by Warner's tough guy act - would like to see him score a century when the pressure is really on and his side haven't already got a 200-run lead in the game.

Posted by 2929paul on (February 27, 2014, 18:09 GMT)

I would say that he needs to engage his brain before opening his mouth

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

Warner should consider himself lucky that he iplays for Aus. if he was English he would have been retired by the board long time ago.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

Serves him right for complaining ...

Posted by Dr.Vindaloo on (February 27, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

It's unbelievable that Warner is let loose anywhere near a microphone. He is a PR disaster waiting to happen and a huge embarrassment to Cricket Australia whenever he opens his mouth.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 16:52 GMT)

I don't understand why they never accept defeat....shows they don't have Sportsmanship spirit. Aussies played brilliantly in Ashes, outclass England in all department and in SA 1st test match. i haven't heard any of the English/SA players saying Aussies did anything with ball....

Posted by gujratwalla on (February 27, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

Here we go with usual sour grapes from the Aussies! They were beaten fair and square.Warner is a very bad loser.This is nothing compared to how the English press victimaized Waqar Younas and Wasim Akram in 1996 when they were getting beaten by the better team.No one said anything when Simon Jones,Harmison ,Flintoff beat the aussies in2005 with the same reverse swing!Dale Steyn is the best and that is that!

Posted by Narkovian on (February 27, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

Warner : Tut, Tut. Naughty boy. But I just love him and his antics. Shouldn't really because I'm very old fashioned in my attitudes to sportng behaviour. But I can't help it... Just love the way he bats,the way he fields. No doubt the SA quicks will try and give him a hard time at Newlands. He will take them on.. can't wait. Mohammed Ali used to talk too much and belittle his opponents. But he had so much talent and charisma, we loved it. Now he's an icon. Few enough characters these days.. go for it DW.

Posted by 2MikeGattings on (February 27, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

Boof set a dubious example with his comments about Broad and deserves some of the blame.

Posted by Diaz54 on (February 27, 2014, 15:07 GMT)

Too lenient, should be banned for several games.....because loose allegations are serious business. The only country you can have a go at and even suggest players were responsible killing their Pakistan, Jamaica remember.

Warner got away lightly.....somebody will make up the fine for him.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

That was unnecessary from Warner. Since the Pakistan series, I think CSA has removed all the zippers from SA uniforms. SA might have tampered the ball last month, but that does not mean they are doing it again, I think. Also Warner can observe and complain on the spot if something is going on. I think Faf was caught red handed in the act!

Posted by Tommy_Tanker on (February 27, 2014, 14:23 GMT)

Good to see he is being punished but a few match bans would have been more appropriate. We can't have dim cricketers making false accusations after every game they are beaten - its not good for the reputation of the game.

Posted by marubini on (February 27, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

They should have took all those match earnings just to teach him a lesson.

Posted by Praxis on (February 27, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

I can't see how Warner saying these things in public be good for AUS. Someone, either his captain or team management should keep him in check.

Posted by MrGarreth on (February 27, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

Instead of throwing the proverbial book at Warner, they should just through an actual book his way and see what he does with it.

Posted by yujilop on (February 27, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

Publicly calling anyone a cheat without any supporting evidence is a blatant insult to the accused and the existing authority (the umpires, match referee, ICC disciplinary panel). Such allegations are a serious matter, and if you don't have any proof, it is best to stay your tongue.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

This was always on the cards. It's good to see that he is facing some repercussions for his appealing behavior.

He just can't seem to conduct himself as a representative for his country.

Posted by Hello13 on (February 27, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

This is the same guy who attacked an opponent from behind. The same guy who insulted Jonathan Trott. The same guy who behaves in a disgraceful way every time he plays the game. About time he was banned.

Posted by SAF-Fan-no-1 on (February 27, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

Weldone ICC...I think ICC should band will be OK at least 3 to 4 Test with the fine, then people like warner can learn. SA is briliant as quite as Amla. If warner would be hear at Durham, may he should say same remark for Broad. That kind of people shouldn't be in the TEAM. I know for the fact Australia is always bully with less telent of the Team. That's perfect remark for them.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

Dave Warner,actions speak louder than words.When you can win a test off your own bat you can speak up.Until then you need to keep it shut,I saw you mouth off to Du Plessis who can play.1st innings runs are what counts,currently your runs are 2nd,so come on now prove you can bat and respect your opposition also. PS I am an Aussie,born & bred like you

Posted by GermanPlayer on (February 27, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

The Aussies should learn from SA. They haven't said anything in the media during the series(other than a few remarks when asked by journalists). Or perhaps its just that the Aussies want it so bad that they stooped so low.

Posted by izzidole on (February 27, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

These days Warner seems to be doing all the talking on behalf of the Australian cricket team putting not only himself but also the team under severe pressure by his unnecessary remarks. This no doubt gives the opposition renewed vigour to succeed and puts immense pressure to prove himself. Warner should realize that he is just trying to establish himself in the Australian cricket team after being dropped for the last ashes in England and the limited overs series in India. Thus he cannot consider himself as a senior member of the aussie cricket team to be their spokesman. He was also dropped from the team last year for disciplinary reasons and if he doesn't control himself he could be fined and suspended by the ICC in the near future. He should keep his unncessary comments to himself as the Proteas themselves must be making comments to unsettle him. He has lots of potential and I reckon he will score even more runs if can remain quiet on the field and let his bat do all the talking.

Posted by KabsCricki on (February 27, 2014, 11:28 GMT)

Where are all the aussie fans now who were claiming this was correct for Warner to do? hahaha i think you got some pie in the face there chaps

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

Walk the walk before you talk the talk Dave. The Oz team of years gone by did both and they could. The world respected the character of Waugh's team immensely and even their opponents loved them. In my book one of the best teams ever, across all sports. Not just in terms of skill and teamwork, but the way they played the game. I get shivers when i think back to some of their achievements and their grit. They were not just front runners, they were real fighters AND gentlemen.

Follow their example and get rid of Ponting's terrible legacy ASAP, then you'll be just fine.

Posted by teju666 on (February 27, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

I thought the Aussies were tough but a sporty lot. On the field they give no quarter and expect none. For all the hard time they give an opponent, I thought they were the first to admire a tough opponent. I thought wrong. What a sore loser!

Posted by JohnMR on (February 27, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

Don't know why he says such daft things. Perhaps its his lower class upbringing coming through.

Anyway, Im sure its just another ploy to try and put SA and in particular AB Dev off their games. Just shows how absolutely dominant AB has been this series, even at Centurion where he was playing Johnson like he was a Sunday 2nd division bowler.

Posted by Pavinasen on (February 27, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

I think David Warner was waiting for someone to have a go at him,upset him.Probably the fine did it,so that he could be his most danderous when batting at newlands.Every time DW goes through a naughty episode and gets reprimanded he comes back and makes huge hundreds.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

Serves him well. When the coach and his fellow team mate (who actually knows better what is swing bowling) acknowledges the fact that steyn is master of swining, cant understand why warner chose those words. It has been proved time and again for one and half year now that RSA are a very good bowling unit and in fact the best in the world. Which team boasts of bowling out sides under 100 cheaply in the last one year? (47 allout and 50 odd allout, pakistan).

Posted by PaperCuts223 on (February 27, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

Hahaha!! Getting what he deserved!!!

Posted by Yevghenny on (February 27, 2014, 10:33 GMT)

I'm sure David will be making further ridiculous comments on other subjects in the future

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

I am not surprised< is this not David Warner who punched Joe Root. He lets emotions to control him.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 27, 2014, 10:21 GMT)

Will Warner also be fined for recently implying Philander faked an injury before the Adelaide test as he didn't want to bowl on a 'flat pitch'?

To me that was even worse. No evidence, just attacking another player's character using the media. And there I'd always thought that Aussies did their talking on the pitch.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

is that American or Aus dollars?

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Tour Results
South Africa v Australia at Centurion - Mar 14, 2014
Australia won by 6 wickets (with 30 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Durban - Mar 12, 2014
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Mar 9, 2014
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
South Africa v Australia at Cape Town - Mar 1-5, 2014
Australia won by 245 runs
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Feb 20-23, 2014
South Africa won by 231 runs
More results »
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