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Ashes: Australia batsman David Warner issues public apology; denies drinking problem

Australian opener David Warner has apologised to Joe Root and confirmed he did strike the England batsman the early hours of Sunday morning.

Michael Clarke (L) and David Warner face the assembled media

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David Warner has publically apologised for his unprovoked attack on England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham pub in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Australia opener refused to go into details of what exactly happened but confirmed he had texted Root to apologise for his actions, with the Yorkshire player accepting his apology.

Warner was suspended from the Australia team for the remainder of their Champions Trophy campaign earlier on Thursday but will be available for the opening Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, which begins on 10 July.

"I don't think I have a drinking problem but I must try not to be aggressive and I will do all I can to get picked for the first Test."

David Warner

He has also been fined £7,000 for striking Root with a glancing blow just hours after Australia's defeat to England at Edgbaston but Warner has now apologised unreservedly for his actions.

"I'm here today to put my hand up and apologise publicly to Joe. I am responsible for my actions, extremely remorseful," he told a media conference.

"I have let not just my team-mates down, but the Cricket Australia fans, the support staff, myself, my family. I'm sincerely apologetic.

"I exchanged text messages with Joe, he accepted my apology which I am thoroughly grateful for and it won't come to that circumstance again."

Warner admitted he had been drinking prior to the incident but insisted he did not have an alcohol problem.

"I won't deny I had a couple of drinks, but there's no excuse for that," he added.

"I did what I did and it's totally out of line. It should not have happened. But I don't think I have a drinking problem at all."

"We're not here to speculate about what happened. I'm here to apologise, I'm extremely remorseful for what I did and I just want to move on.

Gillespie - unacceptable behaviour from Warner

"I'm grateful to still be on this tour. I've got no cricket in the next month and I'm going to prepare as well as I can and help my team mates, the ones I've let down. I've got to be a bit smarter with what I do on and off the field."

Australia captain Michael Clarke sat alongside Warner and urged his team-mate to learn from his mistakes.

"He knows how disappointed I am and the team are and he knows he'll have to do everything in his power now to be involved in that first Test match," he said.

"This behaviour is unacceptable as an Australia cricketer. We have a young group and we've come a long way but our behaviour has generally been outstanding.

"The punishment is quite harsh but the culture were trying to create and set up, you need to make sure you do the right thing.

"I respect the fact David has put his hand up and apologised to Joe. It's important now for us as a team to move forward and not look backwards.

"This is not an IPL team, this is not state cricket, it's not county cricket. When you play for Australia there are standards you have to uphold."

Is Australia's punishment of David Warner...?

  • Too harsh
  • Too lenient
  • About right

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