Andrew Johnston

March 08, 2018

David Warner of Australia scoops the ball for a six against New Zealand during the fifth Twenty20 (T20) International Series match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park, in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, February 16, 2018. (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)

AS A New Zealander it is particularly easy to dislike David Warner.

I don’t need any more reasons to not like the guy after his post-wicket send off to the likes of Grant Elliott during the one-day World Cup final of 2015.

But seriously, the guy hit a new low with his hour-long on-field sledging and supplementary actions and remarks towards South African Quinton de Kock in Durban this week.

During a break in the Test match, the two got into a verbal argument, in which de Kock allegedly talked smack about Warner’s wife, Candice.

After the Test, Australian captain Steve Smith spoke out saying de Kock had taken it too far and had crossed a line because his sledge was personal.

It is a classic case of Warner dishing it out, without being able to take a bit of sledging himself. It’s a bully’s mentality that sadly a good portion of the Australian Test squad has.

As a professional cricketer, Warner is a fantastic batsman with an exceptional record to back it up in all forms of the game.

He is an equally good fielder. That being said, as a professional cricketer, he is a shocking example to kids of how to behave as one.

I understand that sledging is a part of the game, and I’m certain that David Warner knows that — judging by the amount of screen time he gets for shooting his mouth off against anyone and everyone.

If this was the first incident involving Warner acting out and taking it too far against an opposition player, then perhaps he should get a pass.

But it isn’t.

Remember that incident during the Ashes in 2013 where he swung a punch at England’s Joe Root?

Warner was dropped for the start of the Ashes series that summer, so I genuinely cannot wait to see what Cricket Australia will do to punish him for this incident.

Warner has got to realise that Smith saying de Kock’s actions ‘‘crossed the line’’ is completely hypocritical.

Warner has a reputation for getting personal with his sledging. How he can possibly be surprised that someone eventually stood up for themselves is completely beyond me.

This will not be the last time personal sledging on the cricket pitch makes headlines, and I can almost guarantee it won’t be the last time David Warner is at the centre of it all.

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