News coming out of ICC Central suggests that David Warner has been fined 15% of his match fee, $2,000, for his comments alleging that the South Africans had tampered with the ball in the second test.
Is fining a guy who earns well upward of $1M a year $2000 likely to act as any sort of deterrent? The short answer to that is no. The fact is though that within the ICC Code of Conduct that was about as good as the match referee can do.
Darren Lehmann has to sit down with Warner now, assuming he did not orchestrate this whole scenario, and sternly counsel him about his role in the game. As the comments of his own team mates, as noted in my earlier blog, suggest he got this monumentally wrong.
More to the point: accusing someone of cheating is about as low an act as a sportsman can commit in my view against a fellow player absent unprovoked physical violence so I sincerely hope whatever counselling is given to Warner it gets through that is stuff is just not on.
One hopes that this is the end of this fiasco in which the principal loser has been the Australian team who will now face an even more, if that is possible, opponent than they probably will have hoped for.
PostScript: I have been accused of jumping on Warner for this issue because of some personal malice against him. Stop and think for a moment Australian fans: what if a South African player had have accused the Australians of cheating after the first test? You would be massively up in arms, as would I! Just because the perpetrator here is Australia’s current golden eyed boy doesn’t mean critical comment out not also be made.