Aussie cricket David Warner fined after ugly spat with India's Rohit Sharma
The International Cricket Council's reported resolve to clamp down on sledging is set to be tested following another ugly on-field spat during the tri-series one-day international between Australia and India at the MCG on Sunday.
Video of the incident shows David Warner allegedly mouthing to Indian batsman Rohit Sharma "speak English". It's not clear whether Rohit was speaking English or Hindi.
Warner was unapologetic on Monday morning despite being fined 50 per cent of his match fee by ICC match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe.
"I won't back down," Warner told Sky Sports Radio.
"We [Australian cricket team] play hard, aggressive cricket but we know what comes with it, sometimes you are going to get fined.
"We've just got to keep trying not to cross that line, because we're all about playing cricket the right way."
READ MORE: Martin Crowe slams 'thuggish' Warner
After the match, Indian captain MS Dhoni played down the confrontation between Warner and Rohit that occurred in the 23rd over of the first innings from a seemingly innocuous incident, with Rohit taking an overthrow from an errant Warner throw. After Warner approached Rohit, triggering the confrontation, umpires John Ward and Kumar Dharmasena stepped in to separate the players.
"He [Rohit] didn't react inside the dressing room so I think he was fine. I didn't even bother to ask what really happened," Dhoni said. "It was an argument between two grown men. I hope it was sorted out in the middle."
Man of the match Mitchell Starc said he was "fielding on the boundary, so I've not a clue what was said or what happened".
The incident puts further scrutiny on on-field behaviour following a report in The Times last week which quoted an unnamed ICC source saying the sport's governing body will clamp down on sledging ahead of next month's World Cup.
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe in his column on Cricinfo said Warner had gone too far and should be banned if his behaviour continues.
"Warner can play, but he is the most juvenile cricketer I have seen on a cricket field. I don't care how good he is: if he continues to show all those watching that he doesn't care, he must be removed, either by Cricket Australia or definitely by the world governing body," Crowe wrote.
"The more he gets away with it, the more others will follow his pitiful actions. Already we see one or two of his teammates enjoying being close to his hideous energy."
Last week respected BBC commentator Jonathan Agnew chided the Australians about their on-field behaviour. Agnew said that despite their stated best intentions, the Australian team had not honoured the memory of Phillip Hughes with their sledging of opponents.