Cricket Australia fires warning shot at team

PHIL LUTTON
Last updated 10:57 15/06/2013
David Warner
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MORE TROUBLE: David Warner has been disciplined by Cricket NSW.

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The gravity of the word - "despicable" - said it all. Cricket Australia has had enough of David Warner's antics and defective team environment that saw him intoxicated and brawling in a Birmingham pub at 2.30am.

It was a steaming CA chief executive James Sutherland that fronted media in Brisbane to fire a rocket at the troubled opening batsman, who has been suspended for a month and fined $11,500 after his altercation with England batsman Joe Root.

Warner may still be on tour but judging from Sutherland's words and demeanour, it's clear the governing body has had its fill of misbehaving cricketers.

Sutherland didn't stop with Warner either, putting the wider team on notice to shape up as they enter a five-Test Ashes series in which they start heavy underdogs.

Warner wasn't given an official final warning but the ice on which he skates is now paper thin. He will miss the remainder of the Champion's Trophy and the tour games but remains a technical chance to play in the first Test against England at Trent Bridge.

Ed Cowan and Chris Rogers are now favourites to open the batting against an English side that will be licking its lips at the prospect of tucking into the wobbly Australians, whose discipline is lacking, captain has a crocked back and best quick (Ryan Harris) is a week-to-week proposition.

Exactly why Warner wasn't sent home, or at least stood down for a Test match like the "Mohali Four", will spark debate about the consistency of CA's code of behaviour, headed by Justice Gordon Lewis. Sutherland conceded Warner partly dodged a bullet.

"I think he's very lucky. Could have been a lot worse, couldn't it?" Sutherland said.

"It's not my role to sit in judgement of that. It's Gordon Lewis' job. I respect the decision he's made. He's made the call that this penalty is appropriate in the circumstances."

It wasn't just Warner being lined up against the wall. He was reportedly out with Clint McKay, Mitchell Marsh, Phil Hughes, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell, all of whom are now in hot water with the boss.

"David Warner has done a despicable thing. But I also hold the team to account. There were other people there with him. Those that were there need to take responsibility for that. And so does the team as a whole," Sutherland said.

"We'll deal with those. They have already been spoken to. We'll continue to talk to them about how they can make better decisions in the future as well."

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Warner has apologised to Root and said he doesn't have a problem with excessive drinking, even if the manager of the Walkabout said the 26-year-old had become a regular face over the past week.

"Definitely not. I don't think I've got a drinking problem at all," Warner said from London. "It's just basically I've got to make the right decisions at the right time.

"That night wasn't a good time to go out and have a beer.

"We'd lost a game. We don't have curfews, but looking back there should have been in that situation."

- Brisbane Times

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