Warner suspended until Ashes

Batsman David Warner feels the wrath of Cricket Australia after reports of a late-night fracas with England opponent.

    Warner suspended until Ashes
    Warner will miss the rest of the Champions Trophy and two tour matches with Australia [AFP]

    Australia suspended batsman David Warner until the first Ashes Test and fined him $11,000 on Thursday for attacking England player Joe Root in a late-night incident at a bar.

    The opener will miss the rest of the Champions Trophy as well as Australia's tour games against Somerset and Worcestershire in the lead-up to the first Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham from July 10 after pleading guilty to breaching Cricket Australia's code of behaviour.

    Warner "will be eligible for selection for the first Test,'' CA said in a statement following a hearing via teleconference with the player.

    Unsportsmanlike conduct

    CA reported Warner, one of the cornerstones of Australia's batting department, for engaging in "behaviour unbecoming to a representative player or official that could (a) bring them or the game into disrepute or (b) be harmful to the interests of cricket'' after what the governing body said was a "physical altercation'' with Root in a Birmingham bar in the early hours after the 48-run loss to England in the Champions Trophy on Saturday.

    England officials used stronger language, saying Warner had "initiated an unprovoked physical attack'' on Root, who it said "was in no way responsible for nor retaliated to the attack.'' England said Warner had apologised to Root.

    Reports across the British media said Root was with two other England players in the Australian-themed Walkabout bar when he was punched on the chin by Warner.

    It's not the first time the temperamental Warner has found himself in trouble. Last month, he delivered an expletive-laden Twitter rant against two senior cricket journalists and was fined around $5400 for breaching CA's code of conduct.

    Warner apologised but said he disagreed with having his photo printed alongside a story written by one of the journalists about corruption in the Indian Premier League.

    Warner has been a regular in Australia's Test team - averaging nearly 40 - since making his debut in December 2011. But he has struggled for form since arriving in England, failing to score a run in both warm-up games for the Champions Trophy and then making 9 in the defeat to England.

    He was dropped for the no-result against New Zealand on Wednesday pending the hearing and will have little cricket behind him ahead of the Ashes, putting his place in the team in jeopardy.

    Australia already has fitness concerns over captain Michael Clarke, who has a problematic lower back injury that has kept him out of the team's opening two Champions Trophy matches.

    Australia have one point so far and must beat Sri Lanka at The Oval in London on Monday to stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals and staying on course to defend their title for a second straight time.

    The incident has inflamed tensions between the two fierce rivals ahead of back-to-back Ashes series. In all, the old foes will meet 25 times across every format during the next eight months.



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