Cricket: Aussie cricket boss lashes team

Furious Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has lambasted suspended batsman David Warner and also blamed the entire Australian team for rank irresponsibility.

Sutherland labelled Warner's actions in punching English batsman Joe Root in the face at a Birmingham nightclub as despicable and said the 26-year-old was fortunate to remain in the Ashes frame.

The left-hander was fined $11,500 and suspended for the rest of the Champions Trophy tournament, plus two warm-up games before the first Ashes test, after pleading guilty to the weekend incident.

Sutherland admitted the punishment meant there was little chance Warner could keep his top-order position for the series-opener at Trent Bridge on July 10 but said he should be grateful he didn't cop a bigger punishment.

"I think he's very lucky. It could have been a lot worse."

Sutherland, who stressed that Warner's behaviour problems wouldn't be tolerated any longer, accepted the left-hander was remorseful but said it carried little weight.

"What counts is his actions going forward in the future and we're watching those very closely.

"He's under no illusions to the direction his career is heading right at this moment."

Sutherland also laid blame on the Australian one-day team "as a whole" and particularly five teammates - understood to be Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Clint McKay and Phil Hughes - who were also drinking at the Walkabout bar.

"David Warner has done a despicable thing but I also hold the team into account here," he said.

Like Sutherland, Australian captain Michael Clarke denied a curfew was the answer and didn't believe an alcohol ban was necessary despite Warner drinking on numerous occasions during the Champions Trophy.

The operations manager of the Walkabout bar in Birmingham, John Creighton, said Warner was a familiar face to staff at the establishment.

Clarke said he would continue trusting Warner to be professional and wouldn't be imposing a curfew.

"No, David's a grown man. It's his career - it's his life," Clarke said. "He wants to be a part of this team. He knows what standards there are."

Clarke said he didn't have a problem with players going out for a couple of drinks as long as it did not affect their preparation or performance.

He denied Warner was having difficulty coping with international cricket after he also breached Cricket Australia's code of conduct in a Twitter tirade against two Australian journalists.


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