Sympathy For The Devil

David Warner is a massively unlikable person. He’s violent. He’s aggressive and insulting. He’s a cheat. Perhaps worst of all, he’s a hypocrite. It has been pretty amusing to several outside observers, including myself, how his past words and actions in this South Africa series have come back to bite him.

And so, with all of this baggage, it’s somewhat remarkable that Cricket Australia’s actions have led me to feel at least some small measure of sympathy for him. Obviously not much, but arguably a lot more than he otherwise deserves.

Warner was neither directly responsible for the ball tampering nor the man in charge. He hasn’t received any punishment from the ICC, unlike Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft. He is, however, unpopular in the Australian dressing room and in the international cricket press. Even a large portion of the team’s own supporters have tired of his antics, stereotypically Australian thought they might have been. In other words, he is an ideal scapegoat.

Bad Timing

It seems fair to say that the harsh punishments meted out to the ‘Sandpaper 3’ has more to do with Cricket Australia’s financial position than any kind of ethical stance. Within a few days of the ball tampering incident, which itself came after a series of unflattering stories involving Warner earlier in the series, the Australian Test series sponsor pulled out of their agreement. This action potentially costs CA $20m over the next three years. Even more importantly, this winter (at least for those in the wrong hemisphere) was also meant to be the time when new TV deals for Australian cricket were meant to be struck.

Immediately after the Ashes series, Cricket Australia were reportedly expecting to receive $1bn (Aus) over five years for the rights to show Australian cricket on the TV and streaming. That’s equivalent to £550m, or £110m per year. That’s quite a large deal considering that the ECB’s current TV deal up to 2019 was only for £75m a year, in a country with almost three times the population of Australia and where (unlike Australia) no cricket is shown on free-to-air TV.

Except now, with a cricket scandal on the front and back pages of every Australian newspaper, a deal that big seems some way away. Cricket boards have swept most indiscretions and wrongdoing under the carpet or given extraordinarily light punishments. Examples include racial abuse, talking to bookies, touring Apartheid South Africa and instigating what Richie Benaud described as “one of the worst things I have ever seen done on a cricket field.” And that’s just the rap sheet for Cricket Australia’s four-man selection panel. What they won’t forgive is costing them money. Potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, in this case.

In order to bring the story under control, Cricket Australia felt they had to draw a line under it with swift and severe punishments for all involved. Which brings us to the second aspect of unfortunate timing. The incident happened at the end of the Australian cricket season. This meant that any ban shorter than eight or nine months would involve the players missing no cricket in Australia whatsoever. This would seem lenient to some, which CA couldn’t abide.

Had the incident happened in September, three or six month bans would have suited everyone. The baying Australian public would have their pound of flesh and the players would have received punishments vaguely proportional to their ‘crimes’. As it is, two players being banned for a year seems ludicrously long and punitive.

“Fronting Up”

“Full credit to Steve Smith & Cam Bancroft for fronting up and admitting what they tried to do .. I know many teams and individuals who would have gone hiding .. it still doesn’t brush it away but at least they faced the music .. – Michael Vaughan.

Immediately after the press conference at the end of play in Cape Town, where Smith and Bancroft confessed to ball tampering, Michael Vaughan posted this tweet. The responses to it weren’t flattering to him or the Australians, and so he quickly deleted it and posted a new tweet with an almost 180 degree turn in viewpoint.

Apart from demonstrating Vaughan’s propensity to latch onto anything which he thinks will be popular and dumping it just as quickly, it also shows the way in which Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft are being separated from David Warner in the press. Numerous press reports (particularly from the one-eyed Australian journalists who wind us up so much) praise Smith and Bancroft for being honest, sincere, apologetic and so on. The same writers call Warner evasive, insincere and repetitive.

Even Cricket Australia are in on it. If you look at their videos on YouTube, they have Smith and Warner’s tearful press conferences. If you look at the titles, they are “Smith breaks down during emotional press conference” and ” Warner apologises but leaves out the detail”. Clearly CA have picked their scapegoat.

The reason why this division amuses me, other than the simple pleasure of watching the mindlessly aggressive Aussies attacking a kindred spirit in Warner just because it suits their agenda, is that Smith and Bancroft are the only ones who have definitely lied during this whole saga. First they denied everything to the on-field umpires, then told the press at the end of play that it involved “players and the leadership group” and used sticky tape. Finally, they told Cricket Australia’s investigators that it was just the three players involved, and a strip of sandpaper.

Even in their latest press conferences, there are discrepancies between Smith’s and Bancroft’s stories. Compare their answers when asked if it was the only time Australia had cheated. Steve Smith stated categorically that “To my knowledge, this has never happened before. This is the first time I’ve seen this happen, and I can assure you it will never happen again.” Cameron Bancroft gives a much more specific denial, “I have never ever been involved in tampering the ball. It completely compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and as a person.

On the other hand, David Warner has apparently chosen not to lie. For example, when Warner was asked at his press conference whether anyone else was involved his response was this: “I’m here today to accept my responsibility for my part in my involvement in what happened in Cape Town.” A clear non-answer, but also not a lie.

I would argue that part of the reason Dave Warner is being hung out to dry is that he isn’t giving the Australian press the answers they, and Cricket Australia, want to hear. “It was an isolated incident.” “It has never happened before.” “It was just three people.” No one in Australia’s cricketing establishment wants the scandal to widen, and Warner isn’t helping that cause by pleading the fifth whenever these questions come up.

This leads the press the declare that he has an ulterior motive, such as a $1m tell-all TV interview. Whilst I wouldn’t begrudge him that after this incident, especially considering the fairly high chance he won’t play for Australia again, the truth is that he might be the only player in the Australian team who hasn’t implicated someone else in the investigation. He appears to want to protect the team and his former teammates, even after they cast him as their scapegoat.

So Steve Smith, being the first one to cry and telling what are almost certainly lies, is credited with being emotional and honest. 25-year-old Cameron Bancroft is the young, impressionable victim of the senior player’s evil plans. Mohammad Amir without the great hair, essentially. Both of them are already rehabilitated in many people’s eyes, and ready to come back and represent Australia. And David Warner is the villain, who led the other two astray and is now trying to profit from the situation. Except without actually profiting from the situation in any way.

All of which is to say that I feel sympathetic for Warner in this specific circumstance. I wouldn’t be shedding any tears if he had been banned for a year (or longer) because of the other stuff he’s done. The fights, the insults, the send offs, and quite possibly tampering the ball himself. But he wasn’t. If anything, he was encouraged to do all of that even more by being rewarded with the vice captaincy. If he was a bad influence on others, it’s only because Cricket Australia allowed it. Welcomed it even.

I believe that allowing the blame to fall almost entirely on Warner, as appears to be the case in the Aussie media, is unfair and unjust. “Team culture” is defined by what the people in charge allow and clamp down on. For example, in England’s dressing room any kind of dissent is stamped down on immediately. It’s not right, but it is a vivid example of the amount of control administrators exert on a team. Cricket Australia have allowed their national team to become bullies and cheats, and it’s a little late to blame it on ‘one bad apple’. They did this.

As always, feel free to comment below.

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52 thoughts on “Sympathy For The Devil

  1. dlpthomas April 7, 2018 / 12:40 am

    Nice post.

    One Australian journalist summed it all up by saying the players have not been penalized for ball tampering but rather “Brand Tampering”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sri.grins April 7, 2018 / 1:27 am

    Disagree that Warner is the only scapegoat. Unlike popular English thought process that he will not be selected, my view is that he will be selected to play for Oz as long as he does not mentally succumb and start failing to score runs.

    Lehmann went and definitely it was because he recognized that his position was untenable

    Agree that the aussies (board, fans, media, ex players) contributed to the culture and to me it is the height of hypocrisy for most of these guys to turn on the three players involved or make speeches like Steve Waugh did.

    Ultimately, no board is willing to face up to brand image loss. See what happened to Anderson after the jadeja incident. England knew that acceptance would affect their branding. I have more respect for Smith and Warner than Anderson. At least they accepted what they did. Anderson would probably never accept that he did anything wrong.

    It is natural that boards wish to protect their brands. Companies do the same all over the world

    Like

    • BoredInAustria April 7, 2018 / 7:55 am

      Great post Danny

      Sri, Lehman did a Flower. Leave, but still Teflon shiny white. Expect him to be a selector in a few years.

      Where I agree with you is that now we can see ALL teams and boards are equal in their very self interest driven interpretation of the spirit of cricket and the “line”. The mythical moral higher ground of cricket as a sport or specific nations in their approach is a myth. Professional sport is about money, and winning is an essential means to that end.

      Oh, and we watch these guys because they are great gladiatorial sportsmen, and not towers of integrity or fine examples of human beings. See KP, Warner, Anderson, Broad, Stokes, Cook etc. etc.

      And I agree with the point that the boards protect their brand. Like companies. That is the point. They are short sighted profit driven entities doing business with the commodity cricket. Not the custodians of a noble game.

      That is the big hypocrisy.

      Like

      • Sri.Grins April 7, 2018 / 8:09 am

        I agree with your points but isn’t the concept of custodians of a noble game a myth? Who is responsible for this myth? the fans like us.

        Like

        • BoredInAustria April 7, 2018 / 8:18 am

          Agree. We are inside cricket. They are outside….
          🙂

          Like

        • LordCanisLupus April 7, 2018 / 10:57 am

          I think we are all very open eyed here, us bunch of unreconstructed cynics. There’s little mythology of nobility here. Sure, I’d love the game to be free of sharp practice and cheating, but let’s not fool ourselves here.

          A quick question, and there’s probably no answer Sri. If Pune had won the IPL last year, and they bloody well should have, would they still have been dropped from this year’s edition?

          Like

          • Sri.Grins April 7, 2018 / 12:02 pm

            They would have been dropped. The answer is clear. It is in the legal documents of the offer made. If the BCCI had tried to change the terms and conditions, someone would have gone to the Supreme Court.

            There is no way Pune would have continued to be a part of the IPL.

            The BCCI is manipulative but it is also smart in such matters and mostly knows where the line can be drawn 🙂

            Like

    • Mark April 7, 2018 / 8:06 am

      SRI,

      It’s not an English thought process….. it’s the words and actions of cricket Australia. It was CA who have said they want a new culture. Nothing to do with any other nation. Did you not notice that Warner was dealt with very differently from the other two? Cut off from the social media site the players talk on. Flown home on a different flight. Not given the same back up at the airport. By all accounts it is not CA, but some of the other players in the team who can’t stand him. Assuming they don’t reduce the punishments Warner will be nearly 33 the time he is able to play again. If they want a new culutre (brand) why risk bringing him back?

      Interesting you think the coach’s position was untenable, but Warner’s wasn’t? The coach only had a year to go on his contract anyway.

      If it’s natural for a board to protect their brand then I don’t know why you have such a problem with Warner’s removal. After all, CA are only defending their brand. Which is what Danny’s piece is saying.

      I have no idea if Warner will play again for the reasons above, however if they bring back a guy who has been involved with a number of previous incidents it will make their re-branding look rather weak. Perhaps they will be the New Coke? That went well. After six months they had had so many complaints they abondoned the whole enterprise.

      Like

      • Sri.Grins April 7, 2018 / 8:11 am

        I don’t have a problem with warner’s removal only with the thought process which makes him the scapegoat.

        Nor do I consider warner’s position as tenable.

        But, Oz will select him if he does well and there is no better option

        Like

        • Miami Dad's 6 April 7, 2018 / 8:38 am

          Sri, I find your thoughts on things and perspective as an Indian really interesting. One of the very few criticisms I might have of this blog is that we all sing off variations of the same hymn sheet. In fact, that isn’t a criticism – more just something to note. During the summer feel free to bring more Indians to the blog, I think it is the best chance in quite some time of you winning the series.

          Like

          • Sri.grins April 7, 2018 / 9:37 am

            I am not looking forward to the summer. Q and I have to (if we have to stay true to our optimistic avatars) come up with different score line predictions and interpretations of the end of play situation each day and I am dreading it. 😁😁

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus April 7, 2018 / 10:54 am

            I think a lot comes down to attitude and fitness. I think India lost their way after the Lord’s test last time out, and the motivation died off. I don’t think Kohli will be as permitting of that as Dhoni is. If Kohli gets a ton early on in the series, and with Rahane and Vijay both having centuries under their belt here, and with Anderson and Broad having four more years on their clock, you have to think you are in with a bit better chance. I also thought you were optimistic Sri!

            Looks like I might be going to a day at the test for the first time in 6 years at the Oval. I’m a few stone lighter so I might fit in the bloody seats. Pray it doesn’t rain.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus April 7, 2018 / 10:47 am

            Seconded. Even if I appear a little brusque with Sri at times, it’s good to have differing viewpoints.

            Like

          • Sri.Grins April 7, 2018 / 11:07 am

            Absolutely not an issue Lord D :-).

            Actually, I consider myself an ‘erumaimadu’ ((ie in Tamizh btw). It means water buffalo (one of those placid black bulky bovine creatures that you can see standing on India’s highways or roads or even narrow lanes and streets and appearing to contemplate life after death, mysteries of the universe and all lofty noble ideals across far horizons while people on fott, cycles, scooters, bikes, cars, lorries and buses desperately curse, push and prod them and try their best to circumnavigate the obstacle)

            Erumaimadus are known to never worry about brusque replies. It takes a lot to get them moving.
            😀

            I enjoy this blog a lot more than the guardian blogs as the people posting or blogging are the top 10% of the usual posters on the guardian where you get a lot of trolls and my papa is better than your papa cases. 🙂

            Like

          • quebecer April 7, 2018 / 10:54 pm

            Miami Dad, Sri and I have been trying to get InspectorVijay over here, and I know I’ll try again.

            As for the summer, it’s always a pleasure sharing the series with Sri (and I often enjoyed many of the other Indian peeps BTL – along with a lot of the Aussie posters, they were the only reason to be there by the end).

            Sri, old thing, you do tend to preach optimism right up until your boys touch down at Heathrow…

            Like

          • Sri.grins April 8, 2018 / 12:23 am

            Simple Q. The foggy muggy weather tends to affect the boys a lot more than the aussie summer, aussie sledges or the aussie line.

            When they come to England, they seem to lose their optimism the moment they touch down. 😁

            No idea why. Logically, every time India toured England from 2000 except in 2011 when the team had legends who were fading, India should have won decisively. But, they lose most of the time. It is a technique issue. They adjust to sa or Oz better and give them a fight usually but in England they surrender meekly.

            As Lord D put it, kohli wouldn’t want that to happen but these factors are not so easy to control and even our best batsmen the fab 4, failed to beat England regularly despite the clear differences in quality

            Like

  3. jennyah46 April 7, 2018 / 6:38 am

    I wasn’t aware that Warner was being singled out by the Australian press. Whatever his motives might be, I did note at the time that he was the only one of three not continuing to lie through his tears. I have no sympathy whatsoever for any of them. This is not simply for ball tampering. It’s for many reasons. Apart from anything else I have not forgotten their arrogant and graceless 4/0 ‘poster’ at the Ashes victory presentation. What comes around, goes around. Thereby lies a lesson.

    Like

    • dannycricket April 7, 2018 / 7:14 am

      That is a large part of my point, I think. A significant portion of the Aussie media never seemed to call out their team on any kind of misbehaviour at all. Anything bad Warner or the rest of the team did was excused as ‘headbutting the line’ or simply the opposition whinging.

      As for the hands at the end of the Ashes, it’s not like Warner did that. Cricket Australia did, and now they’re blaming David Warner for the team’s culture as if they haven’t been active participants in it themselves. I feel that if the idea that David Warner was almost solely responsible for the “team culture” takes root, then there won’t be any pressure for it to actually change.

      As one of the Waughs said, the behaviour of this Australian team is no worse than past teams. Which is a pretty damning indictment, when you think about it, and shows that maybe they should change.

      Like

      • Mark April 7, 2018 / 8:17 am

        Exactly, if CA is concerned about the culture, the first person who should to be fired is the head of….er……CA.

        I do think these pious up date reports that CA keep issuing to the Aussie fans are ludicrous,and dripping in pious sanctimony.

        My suspicion is a deal has been done, which might explain why the players all so meekly accepted their fate, and at the same time. Perhaps Warner will be welcomed back with open arms. In which case the whole process will be a laughing stock.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus April 7, 2018 / 10:51 am

          The head of Cricket Australia is David Peever. He used to be head of Rio Tinto. They have an absolutely impeccable record of human rights sympathies, respect for workers, especially organised workers, and political neutrality. When he was appointed a reasonably famous journalist said to me “watch, the first thing he’ll do is try to smash the players union, and to get the players into line.” Peever tried it last year with the pat dispute, and had to rail back. He has a chance via another route now, and if this costs the board money, watch what he does next.

          Sutherland is his puppet now.

          By the way, Rick McCosker, the man brought in to carry out the culture review, after his career finished became a Catholic chaplain. Smell the piety. Getting in a man of the cloth to oversee the culture. It’s like a comedy. If only Derek Nimmo had been an opening batsman….

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Elaine Simpson-Long April 7, 2018 / 7:03 am

    Beautifully written and expressed as always Chris but you will forgive me if I say I have no sympathy for him at all. I remember as a child getting into trouble for something I had not done and was punished for it. When my mum discovered this I got scant sympathy. “Well you will have done something else to deserve it I am sure” was her response. (She was a great mum by the way!) this is how I feel about Warner. He has been so obnoxious and so unpleasant for so long that he deserves everything coming his way even if he may be the lesser sinner here. Which I don’t believe by the way.

    As we all know scapegoating is a useful tool when organisations want to cover up their shortcomings……

    Like

    • dannycricket April 7, 2018 / 7:29 am

      Firstly, not actually Chris who wrote this one. Thanks for the compliment though. All of our Twitter feeds automatically tweet any new posts on the site, regardless of who wrote it.

      As for Warner, as I said at the end, I am certain he has done enough bad things to justify being banned for a year if not longer. That’s why we all dislike him. That’s why he’s a perfect scapegoat. If they had done this to someone who was widely popular in the Australian team (Starc perhaps?) then there would have been a backlash in the media.

      Like

      • Elaine Simpson-Long April 8, 2018 / 10:07 pm

        Sorry Danny senior moment. You may be right about Warner being scapegoated because ecerybody hates him anyway, but I still dind it hard to dredge up any sympathy for him. It must be the cynic in me that thinks it was not nevessary to be met at the airport by his weeping wife, nor was it necessary to have him clutching his children who should have been in bed anyway. No doubt his PR person thought it would be a good idea

        Like

  5. @pktroll April 7, 2018 / 7:27 am

    I think I get where this is coming from. The inertia that Cricket Australia has shown over the years when they have been cheerleaders for this faux macho behaviour has finally come back to bite them on the arse. I have always been critical that ICC haven’t been more proactive in clamping down on outright abuse as many sides have engaged in that. I have often despaired at the lack of action from the umpires.

    Certainly Warner has been one of the very worst and the laws of natural justice as I see it is that it is a bit of a shame an opponent hasn’t given him a proper slap years ago as his comeuppance. He would have definitely deserved it. Instead nobody does anything for years and it has taken this to wash the dirty linen in public.

    Like

    • dannycricket April 7, 2018 / 7:39 am

      Yes, one of the things which annoys me has been the light punishments handed out to Smith and Bancroft by the ICC. First, 5 runs and up to a 1 match ban seems a little light for ball tampering (and they weren’t even penalised 5 runs). I know it has the same effect as if someone uses their fingernails or bounces their throws in from the infield, but somehow using sandpaper feels worse and also deserving of additional punishment.

      As for abuse, the main issue is lack of evidence. If they do it out of range of the stump mics and out of the umpire’s earshot, it’s impossible to prove. Even if it is near the stumps, the host broadcaster might hide it (as Channel 9 may have during the Ashes). I joked a few weeks back that if England wanted to guarantee winning the Ashes next year, all they had to do was go to the middle whilst wearing a microphone and present the recordings to the match umpire at the end of the first game. All the Aussies would be banned for years.

      More importantly, I think the ICC should be able to impose significant bans (in the range of months or years) for outright lying to umpires as Bancroft and possibly Smith did. That is something that should be stamped out immediately.

      Like

    • d'Arthez April 7, 2018 / 10:56 am

      Never underestimate the wilful incompetence of the ICC with regards to deal with these things. We’re speaking about an organisation that has publicly admitted to its own corruption with regards to fixture allocation in global tournaments. And we all know that certain players / teams are more prone for being punished by the powers that be than others. Dinesh Ramdin was banned for two games for claiming a catch on the bounce in 2013. Yeah, and lying the the umpires in 2018 has resulted in any punishment from the ICC? Uh, of course not.

      Another problem is that the umpires might not be fluent in Afrikaans / Urdu / Hindi / Tamil / Shona whatever other language that might be used to abuse players. Couple this with the requirement of neutral umpires, and you have an organisational nightmare on hands. Cultural context is also very important. Even as a non-native speaker, English accents can be a real struggle.

      And it is also unreasonable to demand that umpire’s know a player’s family situation to a t. Not 100% sure what Warner has supposedly said to Bairstow about his father (the exact words), but depending on the wording, and the umpire not being aware of what actually transpired in the distant past, the umpire might have missed the offensiveness of Warner’s remarks as a result of (relative) ignorance. That would hardly the umpire’s fault though.

      So the umpires are pretty much powerless, since the ICC is unwilling to back them. So they just get on with the game.

      All in all, heavy punishments to three players for CA not having signed those broadcasting contracts. I am fairly confident that if the contracts had been signed, CA would simply have let the ICC mete out the ‘punishments’ – and since they could not even be bothered to punish Bancroft and Smith for deliberately misleading the standing umpires, we all know how heavy those punishments would have been.

      And the players have probably punished themselves and all their colleagues in Australia with this, due to the revenue sharing model still being in place. A reduction in value of rights, will ultimately trickle down to players as well. CA might have been better off insisting on a clause which reduces the share of income for any individual player, if they have displayed bad behaviour (ball tampering, alcohol issues, racial abuse ,and or otherwise bringing the game in disrepute), to give the players a financial incentive to behave, that does not necessarily screw everyone else over.

      Liked by 2 people

      • BoredInAustria April 7, 2018 / 12:21 pm

        “Another problem is that the umpires might not be fluent in Afrikaans”

        Of course, they could ask the English press that seems fluent, especially in the text format of Afrikaans…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. thebogfather April 7, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    Let’s not let the Warner/CA overlong host, priapic prism
    Stop an LCL long run post, about the Dobell/ECB schism
    Where e’en with @Tregaskis ‘Private Eye’ post spread word
    #SaveThe@GeorgeDobell1, has barely been acknowledged or heard
    As the ECB steno’s fail to forage deeper into this writ so absurd
    Their silence ever louder screams…

    If ever an LCL fisk was needed, of an ECB eight pager
    It’d be here and now, without risk, so we’d be sate, I’d wager? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus April 7, 2018 / 4:41 pm

          In all seriousness let me make something clear.

          I’ve been asked to write something on this by a couple of people now. They clearly have not seen the comments I made a few days ago in one of the match reports. George Dobell is a fine journo, I’ve a lot of time for him, and he’s clearly rattling cages at the ECB. For Graves to undertake this action is ridiculous. It shines more of a light on Graves himself than it does on Dobell. But George is nicely ensconced at ESPN, owned by the mighty Disney, and has an equally, if not more capable, legal team behind him. I’ve sent a message of support to him, but didn’t feel the need to make it public (until now). I did that a while back.

          I am not retweeting Private Eye articles. End of. Others here can do what they want. I am not retweeting that publication. I have my reasons.

          But what I will not be, and never have been, is a bandwagon jumper. I’m not hitching my wagon to something just because I am being told to do so. In fact, I’m a lot less likely to. I will put it this way, if this happened to us, would they come to my aid? Would ESPN Cricinfo, would George, help us out? The newspapers wouldn’t. I’d be surprised if anyone outside our circle of colleagues would care a jot. They knew, because I told them, that someone wanted to dox me. No-one gave a shit. I was once threatened with legal action on HDWLIA, and kept it to myself. Oh yes, and the amusing death threat. That was fun.

          We’ve been saying, almost from the very start, that Graves and Harrison were meet the new boss, same as the old boss. We were doing that well before the media were. We have been fulsome in our anger, accusatory at all times. We make no bones about it. And now we need to do it again to satisfy some “campaign”. I’m sitting back and saying “I told you so”. I’m not being “strangely silent”. I’m saying where have these people been that they now need to get us on board. We’re a small blog, seen as the out of control social media zealots. Our voice doesn’t matter a jot. We’ve been told it often enough.

          Yes, I’m mad.

          Liked by 3 people

          • thebogfather April 7, 2018 / 4:57 pm

            It’s not the ‘suits’ lawsuit against a disney employee three stages away from reality that inspires
            It’s the unbelievable arrogance and ignorance from ECB stooge yet again that ignites ire
            It’s what you’ve always done best and better than any other here or elsewhere
            It’s the basis of every word, so heartfelt and written here

            My comment was never meant as anything other than a wistful wish
            I apologise completely if my vent was taken as inciteful pish

            Which, upon reflection, it was, and therefore deserved every felt word of your response

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus April 7, 2018 / 5:15 pm

            No Bogfather. You are not the reason for my ire.

            Like

          • Mark April 7, 2018 / 8:51 pm

            Also, one has to be mindful that this matter is now in the hands of M’learned friends. There is a limit to what one can say.

            Like

          • dannycricket April 7, 2018 / 9:47 pm

            In all honesty I wasn’t aware that a “concerted campaign” to “traduce the good reputation” of someone was against the law, so long as you only reported the facts and your genuine opinions. Surely this means that most political campaigns are, in fact, illegal?

            Like

    • dannycricket April 7, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      I’ve already started writing one, although I’m nowhere near as vicious as our Dear Leader and will gladly step aside if he’s got something planned.

      Like

  7. Grenville April 7, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    Good article. Thanks Danny. I was wondering why everyone was saying that Warner was the scapegoat. Now I know.

    Two things…

    1. Warner led the players’ strike. Maybe it is payback.
    2. Warner is also being punished because he used to be the ball tamperer in chief. CA know that. The fans know that. The fans know that CA know that they know that. It is an epistemically transparent situation. That’s why nobody is saying, hold on what is Warner being suspended for? That CA is claiming that Cape Town is a one off is a barefaced lie. That should cause outrage and mockery and yet it doesn’t….

    Like

    • dannycricket April 7, 2018 / 6:39 pm

      Personally, I’m not sure the strike counts against Warner specifically. CA seems to hate all the players equally for that.

      I don’t think CA care about Warner’s probable ball tampering because he was never caught. So long as no one says anything, why would they? It’s not about the spirit of cricket, it’s about money.

      Like

      • oreston April 7, 2018 / 7:29 pm

        Yes Danny, but if the theories about historical ball tampering are correct (which most of us would probably deem highly likely) then David Warner knows quite well what he did. He was never caught but, if not handled very carefully indeed by CA, one day he may reach the point where he feels he has nothing more to lose and decide to fess up. In a perverse way he might gain some respect by doing so and blowing the lid on the Aussie cricket establishment’s hypocrisy. Of course, were he to go down that route, it would no doubt be spun (à la KP’s memoirs) as the bitter and unreliable rantings of a loose cannon turning on his noble team mates. So in the meantime he’ll be subtly scapegoated (briefings to journalists, disproportionate penalties for the crime supposedly being punished) while being kept broken and hanging on desperately for that second (third strictly speaking, but who’s counting?) chance that will probably never come. Perhaps they’ll eventually offer him some token, non-playing role – just to keep him in the tent pissing out, as opposed to outside the tent pissing in.
        Still, he must already be wealthy and after a while he’ll have the globe trotting, insanely well paid life of a T20 mercenary to fall back on. Which is more than us mere mortals can ever dream of. When you attain a certain level in life it seems it’s almost impossible to fail in terms that the man on the street would understand. (This concludes the party political broadcast on behalf of the Embittered Old C**TS Party…)

        Like

      • Grenville April 7, 2018 / 8:35 pm

        I am sure that CA only care that they were caught. My thought is that everyone knows that Warner is as guilty as Bancroft and Smith. CA knows that we know that and know that we know that they know. By punishing Warner and maintaining that this is a one off initiated by Bancroft whilst Smithlooked the other way, they are trying to have their cake and eat it. Weirdly, with the exception of this article, they have got away with it. Hell, I didn’t even notice. If anyone believed the official line they would be surprised (to say the least).

        Like

        • oreston April 7, 2018 / 11:08 pm

          “…CA knows that we know that and know that we know that they know.” A labyrinthine second- guessing game that puts me in mind of this (…Warner revealing all being the “nuclear scenario” for CA).

          Like

  8. Mark April 7, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    As not much is happening in the cricket world this weekend (sorry IPL lovers) I thought I might have a rant about the golf.

    Last night I watched Sky’s much vaunted golf coverage which seems to increasingly disappear up its on bottom. When the coverage got started at 7pm the big story of the day was that the over night leader Jordan Spieth had gone from -6 to -2 in the first nine holes. Sky seemed completely oblivious of this. Instead they launched into their two favourite subjects. Endless Tiger Woods circle jerking, and romancing of Rory. I have nothing against either of these two golfers, and it would be great to see Rory win it. But there are other golfers in the world and the field. Sky now seem to have more pundits that you can throw a stick at. They seem to have made the basic error that all broadcasters eventually make. They have forgotten they are there to cover the event, They are NOT the event. A bit of middle aged complacency has crept in. More and more they have begun to resemble the old Beeb. Smugness reigns!

    And speaking about the BBC, their ever ludicrous radio golf correspondent Ian Carter who is usually wrong about everything spent the week banging on about Tiger Woods. So convinced he was that Tiger would win that it became a bore to listen too. When some actual golfers pointed out it would be very unlikely, and the field these days is not afraid of Tiger he could not believe it.

    As I write Rory is second to Patrick Reed. Not many of the so called experts picked Reed to win. Too busy doing Nike adverts.

    Like

  9. alecpaton April 8, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    Some words on Davey.

    I’m generally not a fan of his. I think his return to the Australian team in 2013 after his late night Walkabout was far too swift. I occasionally feel he’s all too often been a case of “all mouth and no trousers”, especially in English conditions, even as he’s been hyped up like he’s the second coming of Jesus (or in this case, Matthew Hayden).

    He’s also done some impressive things on the field of play- his first century, carrying his bat in a losing cause at Hobart impressed on me that maybe all the people talking about how great a prospect he was had maybe been talking a little sense.

    But more than that, he’s what any great story needs- a villain.

    All the best sporting stories are improved, not just because we have heroes to cheer but villains to boo.

    England v Argentina in 1986 is a better story because of the Hand of God. The 2005 Ashes series was stuffed with antagonists. For the neutrals, Javed v Lillee allows you to pick and choose, change your mind, or just revel in the beauty of their mutual loathing. And the beauty of sport is that these contests are not predetermined- we are not guaranteed that Bond will defeat Blofeld.

    If cricket loses David Warner, then it’s not just going to be Australia that loses something, we all will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sri.Grins April 8, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      Totally agree on the loss to oz and fans of cricket. if warner does not come back to represent Oz.

      I am not a fan of Warner either but I can’t accept that it is right or nice that Warner should carry the baggage of everything some fans dislike about OZ cricket and bear the cross of not only his sins and actions but all the players before him who donned Oz colors and who were abusive, hypocritical or cheated.

      I honestly felt that the post would have been better off with a “To me and quite a few others, David warner is a massively”. I was turned off by the first five sentences though I did agree with some of the points made later on in the post. T

      …..

      .

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      • Mark April 8, 2018 / 4:48 pm

        What’s the matter with the first five sentences? I would agree with all of them.

        As to the claim that we will all lose something if he never plays for Australia again, I can assure you that I won’t lose a thing.

        Far greater players than him have come and gone. The world goes on.

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        • Grenville April 8, 2018 / 8:41 pm

          I am not so worried about the hero-villian narrative, personally I find that stuff manufactured and boring. I will miss Warner, mind. He is a phenomenally skillful cricketer who works hard to squeeze out every ounce of his talent. Whether or not he is a bellend is irrelevant to me. I will miss him.

          If he has been cheating, he should, like Amir, be banned, but I will feel his absence. If, like KP, he is being hung out to dry, then, irrespective of his personality and that other talents will emerge, I will be pissed off and, vainly, point out the bullshit.

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        • Sri.grins April 9, 2018 / 1:03 am

          Sure Mark. You are a part of the few others. 😁.

          Jokes apart, you felt that the five sentences were something you agreed with. I felt they were completely judgemental and not apt without the qualification I added.

          Just a normal debate where people take different sides of a debate as we are not debating an universal truth.

          Liked by 1 person

          • dannycricket April 9, 2018 / 7:01 am

            I’ll be honest, I didn’t think that part would be in any way controversial. To go through the points in order:

            1) Apparently most of the Australian team don’t like him, CA obviously don’t like him and the Australian cricket press don’t like him. These are probably the people who spend the most time with him outside of his family, so I don’t think it’s a stretch to call him unlikable. Of course, being “unlikable” doesn’t mean literally no one like them. But more people dislike him than not, and the more people learn about him the more they seem to dislike him.

            2) He punched Joe Root in the face, which he’s admitted, and he’s had to be physically restrained by his teammates twice in South Africa. He’s a violent person.

            3) That he’s aggressive and insulting on the cricket field is widely reported. For example, he spent large portions of the current series making fun of Quinton de Kock’s surname through the South Africa series.

            4) He has confessed to cheating.

            5) He has previously spoken vehemently about how opposed he is to cheating in cricket when other teams do it, but obviously does it himself. He has also complained about the sledging he received from de Kock when, as point (3) showed, he was the instigator of that exchange of insults. Even if you consider him justified in the complaint due to the subject matter, Warner has made similarly personal offensive remarks to opposition players like Jonny Bairstow in the past. So calling him a hypocrite seems fairly safe as well.

            Like

          • Mark April 9, 2018 / 9:54 am

            The first five sentences are I believe factually accurate. If that is what you call judgemental, so be it. I would call it the truth.

            If I ever commit a crime…. I want you as my judge SRI…… You will let me go.

            Like

          • Sri.Grins April 9, 2018 / 2:33 pm

            Ah. You would then be in serious trouble. As a Judge I would have to administer the law as I see it. I can’t decide punishments based on where my sympathies lie. My role as a judge is different . 🙂

            I disagree with you that those statements are factual.

            Because, it is simply not true that a) a huge majority find warner massively unlikable. ‘Massively’ ? Seriously? isn’t ‘massively’ a fairly significantly exaggerated adjective in this context?

            Violent? just because he got into two brawls one when he was probably drunk? I don’t know how many brawls happen in a pub or at work or in sport but we don’t call the men involved as violent.men.

            He is aggressive and insulting. Agreed. But where is he aggressive and insulting ? to people on the street he meets? to fans? to his friends and colleagues? . The known fact is that he is aggressive and insulting on the field.That is the statement which is truth.

            Is he the only or one of the very few australian cricketers to be aggressive and insulting on the field of play? is he the only or one of a very few australian sports men to be aggressive and insulting on the field of play? Is aggression and insulting behavior shown only by aussies in the cricket field and not by any other cricketer?

            He is a cheat. This is true.

            Worst of all he is hypocrite.

            Yes, Warner is a hypocrite on sledging and cheating. It is really funny how his words came back to bite him and I smiled reading his utterances brought up to laugh at him after the ball tampering incident.

            But, again ask yourself the question have you never been a hypocrite? Is he the only or one of the very few australian cricketers to be hypocrites? is he the only or one of a very few australian sports men to be a hypocrite? Is hypocrisy shown only by aussies in the cricket field and not by any other cricketer? is he one of the very few humans who have shown hypocritical behavior? So, worst of all he is a hypocrite if it applies to warner, it probably applies to about one billion human beings in the least.estimation.

            This is why the statements were not a truth from my perspective. You are entitled to see them as true from your perspective.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Prime.Evil April 9, 2018 / 12:09 pm

          Indeed the world goes on.

          Life is full of people whose “off-field” behaviour has overshadowed their “on-field” achievements.

          Zinedine Zidane had the balls to do the deed in front of the world. Warner knew if he did the same, he would be drummed out of cricket. So, he decided to do it behind closed doors, like a thief in the night. Very low class – like kicking a man when he’s lying on the ground, hitting below the belt. I’m reminded of “don’t say nothing, then there will be nothing.”

          I have a soft spot for Paul Gascoinge but cannot feel the same for Warner. Good cricketer he is, no doubt.

          Like

  10. Clivejw April 8, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    It was clear from the start that the only thing on Sunderland’s mind from the start was damage limitation. The idea that there will be anything but short-term token changes to Australian team culture seems to me quite fanciful. That is not to say that there are not some highly respected voices in the Australian media calling for change and calling out CA’s hypocrisiy (unlike the UK media reaction to anything regarding “Team England”), but there isn’t anything like the public pressure for change that these voices often assume. I point to the swift u-turn in Australian public opinion the moment Smith cried, whoops, I mean “fronted up” (but continued to lie, as this article rightly points out). At the rate that Smith’s rehabilitation is going, I sincerely expect him not only to be Australian captain again within 18 months, but Australian President in ten years time. I wouldn’t rule out a petition to the pope to have him canonized either….

    Like

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