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Warner should expect a ‘hostile’ reception in Ashes – Root

by Wisden Staff 15 minute read

Joe Root has warned David Warner to expect a “hostile” reception from the English public if the Australia opener is selected for next summer’s Ashes series.

The Australia batsman is currently serving a one-year ban from state and international cricket for his role in the ball-tampering scandal that has engulfed Australian cricket since the Newlands Test in South Africa in March.

Events in Cape Town also led to former Australia captain Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft receiving suspensions, and prompted a wider condemnation of Australia’s team culture and ‘win-at all-costs’ mentality.

Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa on March 24

Findings from an independent cultural review were released on Monday, which surmised that Cricket Australia were ‘arrogant’ and ‘controlling’. Former national coach Darren Lehmann then called for the players’ bans to be lifted, while former opener Simon Katich believed the players must see out their suspensions.

Warner has been involved in multiple on-field disputes and also has previous with Root. The opening batsman punched the Yorkshireman in a Birmingham bar during the 2013 Champions Trophy.

Steve Smith and David Warner chat next to Alastair Cook and Joe Root during the 2017/18 Ashes

Both Warner and Smith are likely to be available for selection for next summer’s World Cup and Ashes series in England.

“I’m sure he will have to accustom himself to what might be a slightly hostile environment from the English public but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when he comes over in the summer, if he does,” said Root.”I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone but time will tell as to what happens in the future.”

Last weekend, Warner left the field mid-innings whilst playing grade cricket in Sydney after reportedly taking offence from a barrage of sledging.

Asked if he had ever considered leaving the field due to verbal abuse, Root said: “No, I haven’t. “You don’t know what was said and you don’t know what was involved and what happened out there.

“It is something you don’t see very often, but unless you know exactly what went on out there you can’t say if it was a justified thing or not.”

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