Australia: a mean, authoritarian, anti-intellectual and racist culture

Warner defends ugly slur

David Warner has defended his “speak English” demand in a slanging match with Indian batsman Rohit Sharma but admits he was mistaken over the incident that sparked it.

Tempers flared during Australia’s four-wicket Tri-Series ODI win at the MCG on Sunday when Warner demanded Sharma speak English instead of his native Hindi.

The incident was sparked after India ran a contentious single off an overthrow the Australians believed came after Warner’s return deflected off Sharma.

Cricket etiquette dictates that batsmen do not run when a throw deflects off their body or bat.

“When I went over to say something to him, he sort of said something in their language and I said ‘speak English’ because, if you’re going to say something, understand that theoretically I cannot speak Hindi,” Warner said on Monday.

“I did the polite thing and asked him to speak English, therefore he did and I can’t repeat what he said.”

A replay supported India’s position that it wasn’t a deflection and, while 28-year-old Warner admitted he made a wrong call, he said he wouldn’t seek out Sharma to apologise.

“I was in the wrong … I shouldn’t have engaged him,” Warner told Sky Sports Radio.

“If people get on the wrong side of me, I’m not going to back down.

“We’re always there to play hard aggressive cricket, but you know what comes with that – sometimes you are going to get fined.

“We’ve just got to keep trying not to cross that line, because we’re all about playing cricket the right way.”

Warner was fined 50 per cent of his match fee over the incident by the ICC.

Australia remain undefeated in the Tri-Series and will face England on Friday in Hobart.

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