'I put my hand up and apologise': David Warner 'extremely remorseful' for attack on Joe Root
The Australian batsman has spoken publicly about the incident for the first time
Thursday 13 June 2013
David Warner has apologised to Joe Root for the bar-room attack on the England batsman he admitted was inexcusable.
Warner was suspended until the first Test of the Ashes and fined £7,000 following the incident, which occurred in Birmingham's Walkabout theme pub in the early hours of Sunday morning following England's 48-run win over their old rivals at Edgbaston.
"The incident that occurred, that I had struck Joe Root in the face, I'm here today to put my hand up and apologise publicly to Joe," he told a press conference at a London hotel.
"I am responsible for my actions, extremely remorseful. I have let not just my team-mates down, but the Cricket Australia fans, the support staff, myself, my family, I'm sincerely apologetic."
Warner, who pleaded guilty to breaching Cricket Australia's code of behaviour, revealed he had been in contact with Root by text message.
"I exchanged text messages with Joe, he accepted my apology which I am thoroughly grateful for and it won't come to that circumstance again."
Warner admitted he had been drinking before the attack on Root, but insisted he did not have a problem with alcohol.
"I wont deny I had a couple of drinks, but there's no excuse for that," he said. "I did what I did and it's totally out of line. It should not have happened."
Asked if he had a drink problem, he replied: "Definitely not, I don't think I have a drinking problem at all."
Warner, asked what prompted his reaction in the bar, added: "We're not here to speculate about what happened. I'm here to apologise, I'm extremely remorseful for what I did and I just want to move on.
"I remember the night. It started with a few drinks in the bar and we moved on as a team to Walkabout. As the circumstances prevailed, I made a mistake.
"I wouldn't say it (visiting the bar) was a regular occurrence. I have been there before - but not at those hours.
"I'm grateful to still be on this tour. I've got no cricket in the next month and I'm going to prepare as well as I can and help my team mates, the ones I've let down. I've got to be a bit smarter with what I do on and off the field."
The incident happened less than three weeks after Warner had been fined £3,700 after pleading guilty to breaching the Cricket Australia Code of Behaviour for a Twitter rant at a journalist.
The batsman added: "It's disappointing to have two incidents in a matter of months. Four weeks after that incident in India, I've got to draw a line under it and keep working to get that spot back in the Ashes."
Captain Michael Clarke, alongside Warner at the press conference at Kensington's Royal Garden Hotel, continued: "Right now he knows very clearly how I feel.
"He knows how disappointed I am and the team are and he knows he'll have to do everything in his power now to be involved in that first Test match.
"This behaviour is unacceptable as an Australia cricketer. We have a young group and we've come along way but our behaviour has generally been outstanding.
"The punishment is quite harsh but the culture were trying to create and set up, you need to make sure you do the right thing. This is not the IPL or state cricket.
"We continually look at our leadership and look at areas where we need to improve. We can all improve, we have a young team and dont accept these standards - but we have to accept there will be ups and downs on the way. As long as we can knock it on the head along the way...
"There are guidelines, limitations and expectations for the team and those that support us - and those that will come after us in this great game.
"There is no good time to be dealing with things like this but this is part of what you do as leadership in this team.
"I respect the fact David has put his hand up and wants to move forward and apologised to Joe.
"It's important now for us as a team to move forward and not look backwards."
England players and fans could be forgiven for enjoying the latest controversy to hit their rivals ahead of the Ashes.
"Everybody's entitled to their own opinion," added Clarke.
"It's not what you say, it's what you do and this is an opportunity for Dave Warner to show that.
"I don't think any Australia team needs something like this to bring us together before the Ashes.
"We want to have success in this tournament, we've got a game in a few days, then we'll be 100 per cent ready for the Ashes."
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