As a result of his latest faux pas in Sunday's one-day international, David Warner has been fined by the ICC. "So what?" you might be thinking. Seeing the words "fine", "match referee" and "David Warner" in the same sentence is no more remarkable than observing that the sun has risen this morning at roughly the same time that it did yesterday.
But on this occasion I think the wee fella has been the victim of an injustice. I happen to know that Dave is three weeks into the Shout Hindi With Ravi Shastri course and at the moment has only a tenuous hold on the basics of Hindi-shouting grammar.
Sharing a field with several Hindi speakers therefore offered an ideal opportunity to try on a few irregular verb-noun constructions for size. But while wrestling with the subjunctive case, he found himself struggling to follow what was being said and so asked for a translation. This perfectly innocent request has been sadly misconstrued by the ICC.
Anyone who has tried to learn a foreign language can sympathise. For instance, as a non-Australian speaker, I can remember watching a whole episode of Neighbours in my youth and being none the wiser at the end of it.
It was the same whenever I listened to Glenn McGrath or Merv Hughes or Matthew Hayden mumbling into a post-match microphone. I could generally catch the initial "Ah look", which I believe is Australian for, "I don't really want to talk about this, but if I must I will", but what followed was usually unintelligible, a sort of gruff Klingon vernacular squeezed out of the side of the mouth in the style of an inebriated John Wayne chewing a cigar.
Of course some people have taken the less charitable view that this was just another wearisome episode in the career of a man who, not content with scoring lots of runs, seems to be on a mission to pick a fight with every other professional cricketer on the planet.
Indeed, February will see the release of Dave's I-Spy Book Of Cricket Aggro, a publication aimed at anyone bored with traditional autograph-hunting. If you see an international cricketer - at a match, a disciplinary hearing, or the butcher's - just aim a random insult in his direction and tick off his name in your book (double points if he threatens to break your arm or report you to the ICC.)
Whilst it's easy to make fun of Mouthy Dave, Lippy Jimmy, Sulky Virat and the rest, they aren't entirely to blame. Whenever one of their number does something facepalm worthy, the question of "the line" comes up. This "line" is not the same as the ICC playing regulations or the spirit of cricket, but it is frequently invoked as a device for judging whether or not a particular example of stupidity is par for the course or beyond the pale.
But where, exactly, is this line? Who drew the line? Did they use a ruler? Maybe Darren Lehmann can help. If anyone knows where the line is, surely it's the Australian coach:
"We're always going to teeter pretty close to it; we've got to make sure we don't cross it."
But how do you know you've crossed it if you don't know where it is? It seems a bit unfair, like a particularly cruel children's party game called Don't Cross The Line, in which you turn out the lights, draw a line on the carpet, invite the children to move around, then, when the lights go up, send anyone on the wrong side of the line home with no party bag.
So what is a boy like Dave to do? Maybe James Sutherland has the answer:
"Quite simply, he needs to stop looking for trouble. This is the second time he has been before the match referee this season and that's twice too often."
That makes sense. Maybe if cricketers got on with playing cricket instead of behaving like a gaggle of inebriated hooligans looking for a post-pub punch-up, they wouldn't have to worry about the imaginary line. What do you think, Darren?
"David's an aggressive character and we support that."
Well, in that case, I have a suggestion. Next time a player does something crass on the field of play, the ICC should slap his coach with an enormous fine. Perhaps that might concentrate a few minds and enable us to locate the mythical line of acceptable cricket conduct.