Tears of a Clown

Another day, another “tuff-as-fuck” Australian cricketer crying on television, this time cheater-in-chief David Warner. His waterworks weren’t as convincing as Smiths, and that’s saying something, but the acting coaches probably had less to work with. And I have little sympathy for this line of defence:

The abuse directed at Warner’s wife Candice and daughters in South Africa both on and off the field, starting in the first Test in Durban, was raised as a contributing factor to Warner’s decision, as alleged by CA, to direct Bancroft as to how to tamper with the ball using sandpaper at Newlands, with the knowledge and support of Smith.

One of the many things I found nauseating about Tony Blair was his thrusting his harridan wife and kids into the forefront when it looked good for him politically, and then whining incessantly about privacy when anyone asked him some basic questions about them. The best example of this was his spin machine making the absolute most of the birth of his son Leo, complete with dreamy family photos and softball interviews, but when asked if he had been given the MMR vaccine at the height of the Andrew Wakefield controversy, he refused to answer and bleated about privacy.

Now Warner is doing the same. He chose to strut his stuff leading a celebrity lifestyle, having married a woman who was already well-known for deeds both admirable and less so, and invoked his family for publicity purposes whenever it suited him. Hell, he even used them as a shield at the airport when he arrived back in Sydney. Anyone who gave a damn about their family would have arrived alone and taken the heat, having told his family to stay at home with the curtains drawn or disappear to a remote hotel somewhere. Yet all of a sudden he’s blaming his actions on the “abuse” his family received in South Africa. Yes, that’s right: the reason Warner conjured up a boneheaded plan to sandpaper a cricket ball is because his wife was being taunted by the South African fans.

Even in itself this is ludicrous, but let’s look at what happened. Warner, in keeping with the ethos of the Australian team under Lehmann and maintaining a tradition which seems to go back longer than I previously thought, spent his time in the field dishing out crude, infantile, and foul-mouthed abuse to the South African batsmen. In particular, he made a series of remarks about Quinton de Kock’s surname and allegedly made references to his mother and sister. What’s that about keeping family out of it? Oh no, that only applies to non-Australians. de Kock, being aware of Warner’s wife’s previous dalliance with (then) Canterbury Bulldog’s RL star Sonny Bill Williams in a nightclub toilet (la famille Warner is all class), he said:

“I hear your wife likes rugby players. She’s gonna like it here in South Africa, we have plenty.”

Which, of course, “crossed the line” and led to the now infamous altercation between the two players on the steps of the dressing room and, apparently, Warner to get everyone together and hatch a plot to sandpaper the ball. As you do.

Warner said it was difficult to go back to where he was mentally at the time of the decision.

This from the man who mercilessly mocked Jonathan Trott as he was going through obvious mental issues during the 2013-14 Ashes. I hope that Trott has been watching Warner’s demise unfold with a little smirk of satisfaction on his face. Of course he’s got far too much class and decency to say anything, but I hope he can take some comfort in it all the same. Ex-England batsman James Taylor had some interesting things to say in a recent article, too:

I was playing for England against Australia in a one-day international in Sydney and I had just been dismissed for a second-ball duck, lbw to Mitchell Starc. As I was walking off, head down, David Warner charged over and screamed abuse in my face.

I don’t need to repeat what he said, but that story from 2015 is enough to explain why a lot of cricketers around the world have little or no sympathy after hearing Warner had been suspended for 12 months. Many of them will feel this is a classic case of cricketing karma. As soon as you get personal on the field, you will find yourself with enemies.

Most of the the cricketing world is not interested in Warner’s “apology”, or his excuses, or how he will “look at how this has happened and who I am as a man”. They want him to shut up and disappear from cricket entirely and permanently. He should do so.

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61 thoughts on “Tears of a Clown

  1. @Jim

    Cheers for that, I understand what you are saying in a big way. Just making the point that he ain’t gone yet and also that his genie may not yet have been bottled.

    But thanks for not indulging in why you think he should be gone because of something you heard on the radio and other biased views, we need more of this. He most probably ain’t your cup of tea but at least you didn’t need to say that to get your point across.

    Lastly and from yesterday and the old bill going on the field, I still don’t think so after listening to your point, surely if it gets that bad we go home and then assault each other in the copper territory and just get lifted there?

  2. “Lastly and from yesterday and the old bill going on the field, I still don’t think so after listening to your point, surely if it gets that bad we go home and then assault each other in the copper territory and just get lifted there?”

    My point was that just because historically cricketers have been able to shout abuse at each other and no-one involves the law doesn’t mean that will always be the case. So far no one has ever done so, but that does not mean that if someone did they would refuse to act. The law is the law after all.

    In the UK the same mutterings were happening around football a few decades ago – players who had suffered career threatening (or ending) injuries by reckless (or worse) tackles were beginning to consider legal action. There were even whispers that criminal charges could end up being brought for actions by players on the pitch. And the game cleaned itself up – nowadays players are well protected by the referees from reckless and worse tackles, they face not only being ejected from the game, but face hefty bans as well.

    I’m just saying that if cricket doesn’t clean its act up, the legal profession, either via civil or criminal charges will do it instead. Just saying ‘Its how its always been’ won’t cut it in court.

  3. “Authoritarian warning sign right here. Indeed, but that’s where the legal precedents lie. ”

    @Tim,

    If that is where their legal precedents lie then maybe you should stop condemning them for it and then them certainly using it as a reason to. I honestly don’t think that you wouldn’t by the way, just be with who you are and you will be right.

  4. I’m condemning Warner because he’s an utter prick who deserves whatever is coming to him, for his attitude, words, and actions both on and off the field. I really don’t care about his legal position, but since you brought it up I said what I thought it was.

    I really don’t have much to say on the relationship between sportsmen and their sponsors, either. It just doesn’t interest me much.

  5. Bardon, you didn’t say anything about Aussie Rules players being sent off. It’s true that you can’t be sent off in Aussie Rules, but Aussie Rules deals with these things differently to soccer, it uses a tribunal system after the match. This is thought to be more objective than an umpire’s on-the-spot decision. If you punch someone and are found guilty you’ll be given a ban of weeks or months. (On-field a free kick will be given away.)

    So it’s completely incorrect to say “you’re allowed to do these things”.

    Warner: he was not banned for a year because nobody liked him. He was banned for a year for blatant cheating. Smith also got a year, and he is reasonably well-liked. The only relevance of Warner being a nasty little prick is that it meant that no-one was inclined to give him a good character reference, and everyone celebrated. It also means CA will be very disinclined to ever pick him again, especially if he appeals the ban.

    Personally I think the three cheats got off lightly. The match-fixing Pakinstanis all got life-bans, or bans of many years, for conspiring to lose, or to get out cheaply. The only difference with these three is that they conspired to win by cheating, which in a way is even worse, because at least with match-fixing you’re not screwing over the other team.

    (Also, the bloodgate guy in rugby got three years.)

    There are also strong grounds for suspicion that Warner had been ball-tampering for quite a long while.

  6. https://www.theroar.com.au/2013/04/11/why-wont-the-afl-fall-in-line-and-adopt-a-send-off-rule/

    Interestingly (to me) there is a send-off rule in Aussie Rules but its highest league, the AFL, was specifically exempted. So you can head-butt the umpire and stay on the field. If they didn’t introduce sending off for that it’s hard to see what they would do it for…

    (Another point I found odd was that the exemption is actually written into a clause of the rule itself, rather than being written into the AFL’s own playing conditions which is how I thought league-specific variant rules were handled in most sports, though obviously Aussie Rules is unusual in only having a single top-flight national competition.)

  7. The news reports suggest Warner has asked for the transcripts of the interviews conducted in RSA as he’s considering a challenge. He’s got until close of business Thursday to do so.

    This could be fun. The ban is longer than any similar (there’s not a great deal of sandpaper cases, to be fair) precedent but in line with conspiring to lose matches.

    There’ll be merits to both sides of any court case…. which isn’t the point; Both CA and Warner will be hugely damaged by a legal challenge and, as others here have suggested, winning might still see him not selected.

    /buys popcorn

  8. Warner has a legal team and is likely to challenge the ban on the ground CA didn’t support him in South Africa.

  9. @Hector

    “So it’s completely incorrect to say “you’re allowed to do these things”.”

    Who said that?

  10. @Bill

    “This could be fun.”

    Oh yes, it is shaping up to be far more interesting than test cricket, Iets face it the SA series was pretty boring, so this may well prove to have made it worthwhile.

    And what do you think about super hot Roxy, did you notice that her convicted criminal husband was a product of Scots College? Then the rumours that her relationship with Candice may have been more than just professional.

  11. @Bardon You are in the top class as a bullshitter and putter-up of strawmen. Ffs, try to be consistent. No-one mentioned sending off in Aussie Rules until you did. They said, correctly, that the rules didn’t allow what you said they did. You said Trott didn’t like “fast balls”. No-one likes “fast balls”, whatever they might be. Some run away, Trott didn’t. As someone else said, fear of failure was his problem. not fear of pace. You then come back and say that you didn’t say what you clearly implied. Frankly, you are dishonest.

    Warner is a twat. He started it with de Kock and got put in his place. Then he bleated about some Auusie drawn “line”. Then he burst into tears after being caught cheating. Doesn’t sound like a tough guy to me. Now Brian McMillan, there was a tough guy. Warner wouldn’t last two minutes with him, not even today.

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