Cricket Australia blames squad for David Warner's attack on Joe Root
Whole squad responsible for attack on Root, Cricket Australia chief says
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland yesterday slammed the role of the national side's squad in David Warner's damaging punch-up incident in England and demanded they crack down on bad behaviour.
Warner was on Thursday fined A$11,500 (HK$85,000) and suspended until the start of the Ashes series next month for punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar during the ongoing Champions Trophy.
The 26-year-old told a London press conference that he had apologised to Root and admitted he let down his teammates, family and Australian cricket fans.
"That's all well and good. It counts for a little bit but not much," said Sutherland. "What really counts is his actions going forward in the future and we are watching those very closely."
He added that he hoped it was a turning point for the player, who will miss the rest of the title holders' involvement in the Champions Trophy, as well as Australia's two warm-up matches ahead of the first Ashes test against England, to be played in Nottingham on July 10.
Sutherland said he - along with Australian fans - was disappointed by the latest incident, the second involving Warner in three weeks after the explosive opener was fined A$5,750 over an expletive-ridden Twitter tirade at two Australian journalists.
"I'm not in any way comfortable with the incident that happened in Birmingham on Saturday night," Sutherland said. "There is no place for violence anywhere. I'm extremely disappointed in that, I'm extremely disappointed in [Warner] and I have told him that. He knows that and understands that."
Sutherland said he was also angry at the team's part in the incident. Several other players were reportedly in the bar at the time of the incident and critics have raised concerns about the culture inside the Australia squad.
"I'm also very disappointed in the team. There were certain things that led to this situation that happened at 2.30am. There's not a lot of good that happens at 2.30 in the morning in a pub or nightclub," the Cricket Australia chief said. "And I believe that the team as a whole and the people who were around him at the time also need to take responsibility for what happened, and they are under no illusion that they have that responsibility."
Sutherland said the incident reflected poorly on the values and behaviour of the team.
"I'd like to assure you that I and Cricket Australia, and the management on the ground in England, will be doing everything possible to make sure that we continue down the path of building a successful team that fans can be proud of," he said.