Former Australia bowler Shane Warne has hit out at the decision to fine captain Michael Clarke 20 per cent of his match fee after the International Cricket Council charged him with “using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive of insulting” towards England bowler James Anderson.
Clarke was heard to tell Anderson he should “get ready for a f****** broken arm” as the hosts searched for the final match-winning wicket in the first Test at The Gabba in Brisbane.
The Australian’s secured an emphatic 381-run victory to take an early lead in the 2013-14 Ashes Series, but the fallout from the opening match has been dominated by the furore surrounding Clarke’s comments as well as the departure of under-fire England batsman Jonathan Trott due to a stress-related illness.
Warne, who retired from Test cricket following the 2006-06 Ashes Series – the last time Australia claimed the famous urn trophy – has criticised the sanction, and expressed his concern that Anderson was not hit with a similar fine due to his sledging of Australian debutant George Bailey.
Writing in a series of post on his official Twitter account, Warne said: “On another note, I think it's a disgrace that @MClarke23 (Michael Clarke) has been fined. What about what Jimmy Anderson said to Bailey, which wasn't heard.
“@MClarke23 stuck up for his debutant Bailey as he should have too as Capt after Anderson said he wanted to punch Bailey in the face !
“Unfortunately only Clarke's reaction to Anderson's was heard live, we all heard Anderson's sledge that led to Clarke reacting !
“To me it should just stay out in the middle. They all shook hands had a giggle & moved on. By fining Clarke it's made a big deal out of it.
“Everyone should have just laughed, moved on & be thankful for ashes fever. Bring on Adelaide I'm sure both teams are saying.
“Lastly as an international sportsman, if you decide to dish it out ie sledging you have to be prepared to cop it back too & not complain.”
Warne did send his best wishes to Trott though following the news early on Monday morning that he would be heading back to the United Kingdom due to a stress-related illness, having suffered a torrid affair with the bat during the first Test.
“Feeling for Jonathan Trott. I hope he and his family are left alone by all media & he's able to recover quickly & return to the Eng team !” Warne said.
However, another of Warne’s former team-mates has also slammed the decision to fine Clarke, with former opener Matthew Hayden labelling the ICC’s decision a “joke” and encouraged the current skipper to continue his verbal barrage on the opposition.
“What a joke @MClarke23 fined 20%. Keep driving it into Em Pup #softunderbelly It's the bloody #Ashes up for grabs not tidily winks,” Hayden posted on his Twitter account.
Former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy also chipped in with his thoughts, joining Warne in questioning why Anderson wasn't picked up for his sledging.
"MC (Michael Clarke) just because he was heard gets stung! umpires refuse to run the game these days ,we lip read heaps worse which the umpires approved@ashes", Healy posted on Twitter.