BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom: Australia batsman David Warner was dropped for the country’s Champions Trophy match against New Zealand on Wednesday, Cricket Australia said, after a bar-room attack on England’s Joe Root.
Cricket Australia said the player had been reported for breaching its code of conduct relating to “unbecoming behaviour” after a “physical altercation” with an unnamed player after the two teams’ Champions Trophy on Sunday.
England captain Alastair Cook later confirmed the identity of the player involved as Yorkshire batsman Root.
“Joe seems fine,” Cook told a news conference ahead of England’s next match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday, adding that he was disappointed by the incident.
“It’s unfortunate this has happened and he wants to put it behind him. We have investigated the matter, we believe we have not done anything wrong.”
Cook added: “He (Root) seems fine. He is training well. He just wants to get the matter buried. He is an excellent young man.
“It was not an official ICC function. I was not there, so I am also hearing it second hand. But a couple of our players were there.”
Britain’s Sky Sports News television quoted the manager of the Australian theme bar Walkabout in Birmingham’s entertainment district, where the incident took place, as saying that players from both sides were there between 1:30am (0030 GMT) and 2:30am.
There was a “small altercation” but all the players got on well afterwards and Warner picked up the bar tab, he added.
The BBC reported that Warner walked over from a VIP area and swung a punch at Root, who took a glancing blow to the chin.
Clint McKay, one of several other Australian players in the bar, then led Warner away, it added.
Warner contacted Root on Sunday to apologise and the England batsman accepted the apology, the broadcaster said.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement that Warner “initiated an unprovoked physical attack” after the team’s 48-run victory at Edgbaston on Saturday.
England’s Joe Root (C) celebrates after claiming a wicket against Australia at Edgbaston on June 8, 2013
© AFP/File Andrew Yates
“Warner has admitted behaving inappropriately and has since apologised to the player involved who has accepted the apology,” the ECB added.
“Following a full investigation the England team management has concluded that the England player was in no way responsible for nor retaliated to the attack.”
CA said earlier that Warner had been “stood down” for the New Zealand match, pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing. No date had been set for the meeting, a spokeswoman added.
Despite being dropped from defending champions Australia’s side, Warner joined the squad in their pre-match warm-up at Edgbaston and carried out drinks as 12th man when play got underway.
Glenn Maxwell replaced Warner in the team playing New Zealand, with captain and star batsman Michael Clarke already out of the side because of a recurrence of his longstanding lower back injury.
Warner last month came under fire for a Twitter tirade directed at two respected Australian cricket journalists after a story about corruption and fixing in the Indian Premier League was illustrated with a picture of him.
After posting a tweet laden with expletives aimed at journalist Robert Craddock, Warner took issue with Craddock’s News Limited colleague Malcolm Conn in abusive tweets that sparked a back-and-forth exchange.
He was found guilty of breaching Cricket Australia’s code of behaviour and fined Aus$5,750 (US$5,608).
Warner struggled against England, scoring only nine runs in 21 balls.
He also failed to score in warm-up games against India and West Indies.
In one-day internationals, Warner averages 29.81 from 38 innings, with a strike rate of 80.58.
In Tests, he has made three centuries and seven fifties in 19 appearances, averaging 39.46.
Warner is also a member of Australia’s squad for the Ashes which starts with next month’s first Test against England at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge ground.