Dear David: An open letter to David Warner

Dear David,

I am sorry to see that you have again been involved in an on field fracas that has led to you being fined.  This year we have seen you involved in these things in a number of fixtures, continuing a form line of conduct that has been a constant during your career.

I confess to you David that I am not a fan of yours.  I concede openly that you are one of the most devastating stroke players in the game and that you are fast become one of the icons of the game in this country.  Channel 9 has anointed you as one of the faces of the game and not a day goes by during the season where you are not in the press in some way.

I do not write to you to express my own thoughts about your sledging and aggressive conduct.  I have written before that I have become less engaged with the game (that I have loved for over 30 years) in part because of the way Australia plays the game and your conduct is no small part of that. Rehashing that is not my purpose.

I write to you simply to ask you to stop! Please stop! I hear all the time that there are thousands upon thousands of young cricketers who just want to be like you.  They want to bat like you.  They want to field like you. They follow your every move.  When they see you on the TV they absorb everything you do, both the good and the bad.  That means they are absorbing both the slashing cover drive that bounces off the pickets and you standing face to face in the middle of the pitch yelling at an opponent.

Kids are great mimics: I can remember trying to replicate the actions of bowlers that I enjoyed watching.  I am sure that there are young batters trying to blast a ball through backward point just like you do.  I am scared that there are young players who think it is OK to stand toe to toe with an opponent in the middle of the pitch.

My nephew is just starting to get into cricket and went to his first game a couple of weekends ago.  He still thinks that his uncle, who bowled slow medium outswingers that did not swing and whose only shot was a cover drive, is his favourite cricketer.  That will not last long: soon I fear that you will be his favourite cricketer and he will start to mimic you, both the good and the bad.

So again: I ask you to stop! Not for lifelong fans like me but for the next generations of young fans who don’t know or don’t understand that what you are doing is not the way the game of cricket should be played.

Thank you.

Best regards,

A concerned uncle and cricket fan

The Morning after the Night before: is it suddenly OK to come to work drunk?

There has been much reporting today of the antics of some of Australia’s morning show hosts in the aftermath of the Logies (Australia’s TV awards). Of course for particular reporting has been the conduct of Channel 9’s Karl Stefanovic who has made a habit of appearing on his show, Today, in the aftermath of this awards show either drunk or severely hungover.

For those who missed it, Stefanovic again showed up for work this morning severely hungover (at best) and left with 20 minutes before his show ended. Two other hosts on the Today show, Messrs Fordham and Jacobs were missing at the start of the show but made it later on and stayed to the end.

I ask you readers: if you turned up to your place of work either drunk or hungover, late and then left early do you think you would have a job (or at least receive a warning) the following day? Or do you think you would be lauded as “great bloke” / “larrikin” just entitled to have a good time?

Did I miss a memo? How is OK for a role model, which Stefanovic is, to continue to turn up to his show in an unfit state and not be punished for it? Or worse for us to not even question the wisdom of such conduct?

In professional sports we have seen players, in Australia, stood down for turning up drunk to games (Andrew Symonds), had their contracts torn up because they preferred to drink rather than turn up to a recovery session (Josh Dugan) and, generally, be heavily scrutinised for their habits when it comes to alcohol.

I concede that I do not drink alcohol: I am an alcoholic. That said I am no puritan and, indeed, I am all for people having a good time. Further, I am a massive advocate for those in the public eye both having a life outside of work and enjoying that life.

Stefanovic and pals getting on the tins at an awards dinner is not the issue; rather, I applaud the fact that these guys who work very hard getting the chance to let their hair down. What I am bothered by is the message that it sends when these guys then go to work drunk / hungover or just don’t turn up. I am even more bothered by the fact that as a society we seem to laud and reward a guy who does that.

For goodness sake: if you are going to get on the tins so hard that you know you are not going to be able to perform at a level that equates to your normal work standard TAKE A ANNUAL LEAVE DAY. It is not that hard is it?

And as society surely the time has come for this sort of conduct to be outed for what it is: entirely unacceptable! Your or my boss would haul us over the coals, as a minimum, if we acted in this way and as a society we have to recognise that it is not behaviour to be lauded. It seems that we have already made this step when it comes to our sports stars, it leaves one to wonder why our television presenters ought be any different.