Sunday’s incident in the players’ tunnel at Kingsmead is not the first time David Warner has found himself in a bit of trouble, and it probably won’t be the last.
Warner’s talent with the bat is undoubted, and he is currently one of the best cricketers in the world today. But the Australian has been known to find himself on the wrong side of authority.
We take a look at five incidents throughout his colourful career that refuse to go away.
1. Warner decks Joe Root in a pub
Perhaps the most famous incident Warner has been involved in was when he punched Root in an Australian-themed bar in Birmingham in 2013. It was initially reported that Warner hit the then 22-year-old following a row over a fake beard. Root was reportedly impersonating Proteas batsman Hashim Amla. As a result, Warner was dropped from the Australian squad for the 2013 Ashes.
Commenting on the incident in 2016, Warner said: ‘A mate of mine was actually wearing [a wig] on top of his head like a [Lasith] Malinga wig, that’s what it was, and [Root] decided to come in and take it off my mate’s head and start acting the way he did. I thought it was a bit inappropriate the way he went about that stuff so I went over and tried to take it off him.
‘I just think in today’s society, you shouldn’t be fooling around with that kind of stuff. And he probably didn’t mean anything by it at all, but I probably let my aggression and alcohol take over.’
2. Spat with Thami Tsolekile
After being sent home from England as a result of punching Root, Warner then joined the Australia A side on tour to play South Africa A. In a game at the LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria, sledging between Warner and Tsolekile became so heated that they had to be separated by Vaughn van Jaarsveld, which resulted in the umpires getting involved.
Warner played down his confrontation with Tsolekile, later tweeting: ‘Great to be back playing cricket, had lots of fun this week and a bit of friendly banter from the wicketkeeper. Was very funny!’
3. Telling Rohit Sharma to ‘speak English’
Three years ago, Warner was caught on camera mouthing ‘speak English’ during a spat with India batsman Rohit Sharma. In a game at the MCG, Sharma, batting in the 23rd over, was hit by an errant Warner throw, which triggered a confrontation. The two players had to be separated by the umpires after Warner told Sharma to speak English.
Of the incident, Warner said: ‘When I went over to say something to him, he sort of said something in their language and I said “speak English” because, if you’re going to say something, understand that theoretically, I cannot speak Hindi.’
4. Accusing AB de Villiers of cheating
Mitchell Starc produced a beautiful spell of reverse swing on day two of the first Test in Durban, but in 2014, it was the Australians who were on the receiving end at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander were near unplayable, taking six wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 90, and lost the Test by 231 runs.
Warner questioned how South Africa worked on the ball, pointing at De Villiers, who was keeping wicket at the time. ‘We were actually questioning whether or not AB de Villiers would get the ball in his hand and, with his glove, wipe the rough side of every ball,’ he said at the time.
5. Warner attacks journalist on Twitter
Warner didn’t take kindly to a negative opinion piece by an Australian journalist about spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League that used his image.
In a vile tirade on Twitter, he wrote: ‘Wow @crashcraddock1 some smart journo who thinks he can bringDown people. Well done CHAMP!! (sic).’
And: ‘Shock me @crashcraddock1 talking s*** about ipl jealous p****. Get a real job. All you do is bag people. #getalife’. (sic)’
Cricket Australia gave Warner an A$5,750 fine. He said: ‘I was trying to defend myself because anyone who looks at the photograph can automatically assume that I’m related to what happened over there. If I let it go and didn’t say anything, was I going to be defended by others? We just don’t know that. What I did through Twitter, for myself, it was disappointing and I shouldn’t have done that and I shouldn’t have used the language that I did.’
Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images