On the eve of the third and final test in Cape Town between Australia and the Proteas the ICC delivered its verdict on Australian David Warner’s controversial radio interview in the aftermath of the second Test in Port Elizabeth that Australia lost.
Warner was charged with a level-one breach of the ICC’s rule that demands players and coaches refrain from criticism of or “inappropriate comment” regarding opponents or match officials.
He was duly fined 15 per cent of his match fee – $2880. He could however have been fined up to 50 per cent.
Many believe that the whole issue was a storm in a tea cup, but one has to say that the whole issue showed that the game’s governing body the ICC is a toothless tiger.
A fortnight before this punishment Warner was contracted by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League for USD 880,000. Therefore a fine of $2800 is going to be almost loose change and unlikely to be much oaf a deterrent to prevent him making similar statements; that also applies to other players receiving similar payouts from the IPL. Therefore if the ICC is serious about reducing such outbursts and restoring cricket to be being a game played by gentlemen, or at least players with gentlemanly values, then they should look to suspend players rather than fine them.
If a replacement player comes in and performs it will make it harder for the suspended player to return to the side, and therefore when he does he will think twice before opening his mouth in the future.
One thing that is interesting is David Warner seems to thrive on controversy and one has to wonder whether he does not in fact come out with these statements to fire himself up as he always seems to deliver in the next test. In the recent Ashes series he made unfortunate comments about England’s Jonathan Trott during the first test for which he was criticised. He then scored 83 not out in the second innings of the second test to steer Australia to victory by 218 runs. In South Africa following his fine he blasted a quick fire 135.
Warner has a reputation now for shooting his mouth off, but surprisingly although he has been the subject of disciplinary action from both Cricket Australia and Cricket New South Wales in the past, his fine in South Africa is only the second time he has attracted punishment from the ICC. The other time was when he received a reprimand for dissent after standing his ground and then shaking his head after he was given out leg-before in a one-day Interenational against Sri Lanka at the SCG in January 2013.