2o January, 2015. 11:30
IMRAN GASHKORI | Sports Journalist | Contact
Explosive Australian opener David Warner on Monday defended a heated on-field exchange with Indian batsman Rohit Sharma in which he demanded the Indian cricketer “speak English”
Warner said the verbal exchange at a one-day international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday earned him a fine of 50 percent of his match fee from the International Cricket Council.
The Australian fielders had taken offence when the Indians went for a single off an overthrow which they wrongly believed was in breach of cricket etiquette.
“When I went over to say something to him, he sort of said something in their language and I said ‘speak English’ because, if you’re going to say something for me to understand, theoretically I cannot speak Hindi,” Warner told Sky Sports Radio.
“So I did the polite thing and asked him to speak English, therefore he did and I can’t repeat what he said.”
“But I’ll tell you one thing, I’d be in a whole heap more shit if the camera’s saw the shots I fired back. Essentially, I told him that maybe he should consider going back to India.”
Asked whether there was anything wrong in the manner in which he had spoken to Sharma, Warner said: “I thought I was OK by asking him to speak English and I am going to say it a couple of times if he keeps saying it in Hindi – as for the other stuff… I mean, maybe it’s not that politically correct – but I am a Western Suburbs boy ’till I die. I am not ashamed of that.”
Warner admitted he should not have confronted Sharma but said the pair had been engaging in “friendly banter” during the match, which Australia won with six balls to spare despite a century by Sharma, and he didn’t feel the need to apologise.
“No, because we were actually going at each other anyway during the game,” he said.
During the summer’s Test series against India, which saw repeated heated sledging, Warner said he would not be toning down his “banter” and he repeated that stance Monday.
“If people get on the wrong side of me, I’m not going to back down,” he said.
“…and if these whinging armchair critics have a problem with the way I treat our rival cricketing nations – they can get f**ked as well. I don’t see them out here getting centuries – that’s what I do – and if you’ve got a problem with how I do it, then maybe you should start watching tennis,”
“We’re always there to play hard aggressive cricket, but you know what comes with that — that’s what happens, sometimes you are going to get fined. Boof used to do this shit all the time” said Warner, reference Australian coach, Darren Lehman’s lesser-known racial outburst against Sri Lanka in 2003.
While still a player, Lehmann reportedly shouted “black c—!” while entering the dressing rooms after being run out – a comment overheard by Sri Lankan officials who, in turn, reported the incident to ICC match referee Clive Lloyd. Lehmann was not disciplined in 2003, and despite the change of attitude in international cricket, David Warner says he couldn’t care less about the disciplinary actions taken against him over a decade later.
50 percent of my match fee? [laughs] that’s chump change for me – I’m a test cricketer – bouncing between the Big Bash and this Tri-Nations shit. Do you think I give a f**k? I’ve copped bigger fines for smoking durries inside the St George Leagues Club”
“We’ve got to keep trying not to cross that line, and we’ve got to work hard at that, and that’s what we’re all about – It’s Australian cricket.”
Australia have won their first two games in the triangular one-day series against England and India and face England again in Hobart on Friday.