Australia opener David Warner admitted that the incident in which he punched Joe Root in a Birmingham bar four years ago was ‘pivotal’ to his development as a cricketer and a man.
Warner was fined and suspended after the incident during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, following England’s defeat to Australia. Now, with the same event has back in Birmingham as Australia will play England on Saturday in a much-win game, Warner shed light on the incident.
“It was a learning curve for myself,” Warner said. “I was young and now I’m old. I’ve two kids and I’m married. There’s a lot of settling down there.
“It definitely was [pivotal] to me becoming the person I am today; not just the cricketer. We all go through periods when we’re young and naïve. It’s not about stuffing up and moving on, it’s about learning the ropes of being away on tour for such a long period of time. There are things you have to think about as a youngster: what you can or can’t I do.
“I probably didn’t work that out at that stage. But now I have and I have a great balance on and off the field.”
“The bull can still come out here and there,” he admitted. “It just depends on what day you get me. Most of the time, I’m probably the reverend – as they say – but look, it’s about winning games for Australia and being the best person I can around the team and around people outside cricket.”
While Warner said he would be happy to revisit the Walkabout bar where the incident happened and shake’s Root’s hand, he did hint that he felt his side of the incident wasn’t fully recognised.
“People didn’t look too far or deep into it to see who was in the right or wrong,” Warner said. “But that’s all gone, it’s in the past and we can tell a happily ever after story at the end of my career.
“If they [at Walkabout] give me a couple of free drinks, some diet cokes, and the rest of the boys they can shout them a table. And if I see Joe I’ll give him a handshake.”