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Australian batsman David Warner suspended for 'unprovoked physical attack' on England's Joe Root in Birmingham bar The Walkabout

The incident occurred in a nightclub after Australia's defeat to England in the Champions Trophy
  • @simonrice

Batsman David Warner looks set to be sent home after he “initiated an unprovoked physical attack on a member of the England team”, in events that have sent the Australian cricket team into crisis.

The England 'member' in question is understood to be Joe Root.

The opening batsman was left out of Australia's Champions Trophy clash with New Zealand today pending an investigation and is almost certain to be sent home.

The incident occurred  in Australian themed nightclub The Walkabout in Birmingham city centre. The attack, described as "alcohol fuelled", is reported to have taken place in the early hours of the morning after Australia's Champions Trophy defeat to England. Warner is said to have flashed a "glancing blow" which struck Root on the chin.

Widespread reports suggest Root was wearing a fake wig, which he then turned around to use as a beard, to which Warner took offence. The Australian reportedly grabbed the hairpiece without asking to which Root asked: "What did you do that for?"  It was at this point that Warner is said to have lashed out.   

Warner was the reportedly pulled away by his Australia team-mates and the England players who were in attendance, which included Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.

The venue where the incident happened have played down events, calling them "a small altercation". In a statement, The Walkabout also claimed Warner picked up the "small bar tab".

England captain Alastair Cook was not at the nightclub, but spoke about his regret at the incident this morning.

"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," he said.

"It's a shame it has happened, in some way it has marred what was a very good win for us.

"Our conduct in the England team is vitally important. We are aware of our position and responsibilities."

As a member of Australia's Test squad, Warner's actions threaten to derail his nations Ashes hopes as well.

The full statement from the ECB read: "The England and Wales Cricket Board 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. ECB has concluded that this is a matter for Cricket Australia and have no further comment to make."

Warner has been reported under the Cricket Australia (CA) code of conduct for breaching Rule 6: Unbecoming Behaviour - for the second time in recent weeks - after the incident. Following Saturday's 48-run defeat by England at Edgbaston.

A CA statement said: "Cricket Australia (CA) advises that Australian batsman David Warner has been stood down from Australia's ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand tonight after being reported for breaching the CA Code of Behaviour.

"Warner has been reported for breaching Rule 6: Unbecoming Behaviour after he was allegedly involved in a physical altercation with an England player ... following the ICC Champions Trophy match between the teams in Birmingham."

The England player has not been named by CA or the ECB but it is understood it was Root, England's rising star.


Warner had been expected to play in today's game against New Zealand despite a dismal run of form which continued with an innings of nine off 21 balls against England.

The left-hander failed to score in warm-up games against India and the West Indies and has reached double figures just once in his last seven innings, making 44 in Delhi Daredevils' Indian Premier League defeat to Chennai Super Kings.

The CA statement continued: "Team management have stood down Warner pending the outcome of the hearing, meaning he will miss Australia's match against New Zealand in Birmingham.

"Rule 6 states: Without limiting any other rule, players and officials must not at any time engage in behaviour unbecoming to a representative player or official that could (a) bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute or (b) be harmful to the interests of cricket."

Warner is a controversial figure who was last month fined £3,700 for a series of obscene Twitter comments to journalists.

Warner was given the maximum available fine after he pleaded guilty to breaching rule 6 of the code of conduct over an argument with journalists Robert Craddock and Malcolm Conn.

Warner took exception after his photograph was used alongside an article by Craddock which described the IPL as a "smouldering cesspit" and "the sunniest of places for the shadiest people" before questioning the integrity of the competition in the wake of the latest spot-fixing scandal.

Warner referred to Craddock as a "p***k" on Twitter and said both writers "talk s***".

Warner later apologised for his language and discussed the issue in person with Conn, who had tweeted: "You lose 4-0 in India, don't make a run, and you want to be tickled on the tummy? Win the Ashes and get back to me."

Conn, writing for News Limited Network, has reported that alcohol was involved in the latest incident and even suggested Warner could be sent home from the Champions Trophy.

Australia are already in disarray following the back injury to captain Michael Clarke who also missed today's game. Clarke has a chronically injured back and looks an increrasing doubt for the Ashes series.

David Warner v Joe Root

David Andrew Warner Full name Joseph Edward Root

October 27, 1986, Paddington, New South Wales Born December 30, 1990, Sheffield, Yorkshire

26 years 228 days Current age 22 years 164 days

Left-hand bat Batting style Right-hand bat

 Legbreak Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

5 ft 7 in (1.70m) Height  6 ft 0 in (1.83m)


Additional reporting: PA