Australia batsman David Warner admits punching Joe Root and is suspended until first Ashes Test
Warner has been suspended after 'attacking' English batsman Joe Root
The Australian cricketer David Warner has been suspended until the first Ashes Test for attacking Joe Root in a pub.
Warner took part in a disciplinary hearing with Cricket Australia's behaviour commissioner, the Hon Justice Gordon Lewis, via teleconference this morning during which he pleased guilty.
The punishment means he will miss the rest of the Champions Trophy, although he escapes being sent home for the summer in shame. He was also fined 11,500 Australian dollars (almost £7,000) for the incident.
The decision leaves Australia in a tricky situation with the return of Warner for the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge next month sure to be a distraction from their preparations.
The batsman was pulled out of yesterday's Champions Trophy match with New Zealand after it emerged he had attacked English cricketer Root in a Walkabout sports bar in Birmingham following England's victory over Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Warner has been charged with breaking governing body's code of conduct regarding "unbecoming behaviour" as the media reported that the batsman struck Root.
The 26-year-old Warner has been in trouble with Australian cricketing authorities and was last month fined £3,700 for a foul-mouthed tweet exchange with two Australian journalists.
CA recently banned four players - including vice-captain Shane Watson - from a Test against India for failing to complete a homework assignment.
Warner was, however, seen publicly warming up with teammates yesterday in Edgbaston , as well as carrying drinks as the twelfth man, mitigating rumours that he would be sent home to Austalia.
Australia captain George Bailey, who unintentionally had reporters chuckling when he claimed Warner had taken news of his dropping "on the chin", also attempted to make light of the situation.
"It's disappointing from my point of view, but it's a very minor incident and it's being dealt with in-house," he told the Press Association.
"I really enjoy playing cricket with him (Warner). I love his enthusiasm, I love his energy, I love the way he plays. I'm looking forward to hopefully playing a lot more with him in whatever career I have."
The tone of the England and Wales Cricket Board's official statement was significantly harsher.
It read: "The ECB confirms that David Warner initiated an unprovoked physical attack on a member of the England team in a Birmingham bar following England's 48-run victory over Australia.
"Warner has admitted behaving inappropriately and has since apologised to the player involved who has accepted the apology.
"Following a full investigation the England team management has concluded that the England player was in no way responsible for nor retaliated to the attack."
Root, who came away from the incident with no injuries, seemed fine as he trained with England teammates at the Kia Oval yesterday. Captain Alastair Cook publicly gave his batsman his backing and had no issue with his players celebrating a win in a bar.
"We had two days off as a team. When the schedule allows and when it's within certain parameters it's good to let your hair down," said Cook.
"We are clearly disappointed that the incident has happened, but after investigating it from our side, we don't believe we have done anything wrong.
"It was unfortunate but he (Root) wants to put it behind him."
A statement released on behalf of Walkabout suggested none of the players had been drinking excessively and that Warner, who was said to be known to staff at the venue, paid the bar tab.
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