Cricket Australia have got a right old problem
Cricket Australia have got a right old dilemma on their hands.
What do they do with David Warner?
He hit someone in an unprovoked act of violence. In the scheme of misdemeanors that’s right up there amongst the most serious.
If they’re going to be apply their own code of behaviour properly, they have to send him home and even possibly terminate his contract. It’s that serious. He hit someone. If you or I had hit someone in a bar we’d probably have the old bill knocking on our door.
Anything less than sending him home with a substantial fine would be considered lenient. And perhaps lenient for cricketing reasons rather than for any moral reasons. There’s an Ashes series to try and win. Pragmatism would say that they need him – not because he’s in any way brilliant as a Test opener but because he may be the best option they have – or at least he’s an option and if they send him home they’ll be left with Watson, Hughes or Rogers to open with Cowan. None of them are terrible options but sending Warner home gives them one less option and they’re not exactly awash with Ashes winning players.
Warner is clearly thick as two short ones – his twitter outburst against Crash Craddock and Malcolm Conn was both stupid in the act itself and stupid in the content and terrible spelling of the tweets. He was fined and told not to be a dick and that was that. Tweeting is one thing – hitting someone is quite another.
But he’s a cricketer – he doesn’t need to bright, he doesn’t need to be classy and he doesn’t need to be teetotal – He does need to not hit people.
Cricket Australia have left themselves with a problem. Given the sanctions they handed out to 4 of their players during the India tour for far less serious incidences of ill-discipline, they’ve left themselves down a bit of a cul-de-sac in PR terms. They have to send out a message that violence is far far worse than not filling in “wellness reports” or being late for team meetings. If they don’t it’ll be hunting season on them.
And even if they don’t care about the press reporting – they should care about the responsibility they have as a sporting body and the responsibility that their employees have.
If they don’t send Warner home, they’re basically saying that whilst it might not be OK to hit someone in a bar – it’s OK if you’re an Aussie cricketer in an Ashes year.
The outcome of this code of behaviour hearing is going to be very interesting whatever the outcome.