Angry Phil Hughes claim in Warner sledge storm
THE cricket club at the centre of the David Warner sledging controversy has hit back after his walk-off during a grade match on Saturday, which saw the banned international star leave the field after comments made by an opposition player.
Warner spent two minutes off the field before returning to hit a glittering 157 for Randwick-Petersham against Western Suburbs. He told umpires he was removing himself from the game after comments made by Wests player Jason Hughes - the brother of former Australian Test player Phil Hughes.
Warner went back to the changeroom before being convinced to return to the wicket and after a short break in play, he resumed his innings.
The Western Suburbs District Cricket Club issued a statement from club president Michael Swan on Facebook on Sunday which denied the comments from Jason Hughes were about his brother.
Warner was fielding for NSW against South Australia during a Sheffield Shield match in 2014 when Phil was struck on the head by a bouncer and was killed.
The statement said: "There was no barrage of sledges aimed at David Warner by any WSDCC player.
"There was a brief exchange between Jason Hughes and David Warner. This exchange had nothing to do with Phil Hughes. This exchange was not vicious or abusive as alleged in some sections of the media.
"The WSDCC believes it has maintained integrity at all times and is fully supportive of Jason Hughes and all our players."
Warner's wife Candice opened up on the affair on TV on Sunday.
Weirdness in Sydney Grade cricket. Dave warner, on 35, just walked off the field in the middle of the over. Told the umpire “I’m removing myself from the game”. Apparently it was because of a sledge. He walked off, then came back out to bat 2 mins later. #Cricket pic.twitter.com/jX0lihgLxU— Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) October 27, 2018
"I won't go into the details yesterday but David was taken aback by the comments, and thought they went a little bit too far, so he decided to remove himself from the game," she said on Channel Nine's Sports Sunday.
"He left the field because first of all he didn't like what he was hearing and where that could have been taken. It was hurtful, very hurtful."
Warner is serving a 12 month ban alongside Steve Smith after Australia's unfortunate ball tampering fiasco in March. The incident was one of the final dominoes to fall in Australian cricket's push for a complete overhaul.
Panellist Peter FitzSimons grilled Ms Warner over the debacle, asking if her husband was "the last person who can complain about vicious sledging".
"Everyone has their own opinion but there is a difference between sledging and abuse," she said.
"I personally would have put (the sledge) into that category."
FitzSimons continued, asking if the incident would "temper" Warner's desire to go on the attack upon returning to the baggy green next year.
"David is very passionate and he is an aggressive player, that's why he is one of the best players in his position, because he is aggressive," Candice rebutted. "I think that he will have to be careful when he comes back, but he won't change his style of playing."
Fellow panellist and Cricket Australia executive Mark Taylor admitted he'd previously locked horns with Warner over how to deal with sledging within Australian cricket.
The former Aussie skipper said he was concerned about the "mood around the game" and would rather not have situations escalate to the point where a player removes himself from the game.
"David and I have had disagreements about the way things have been handled in the past, but sooner or later everyone in cricket has to get over it. We have to move on," he said.
Taylor was probed over the result of Cricket Australia's internal cultural review and revealed some of the findings will be "confronting" to the Aussie public.
"I have seen the review. It will be hard-hitting and confronting for CA,and for anyone who loves the game of cricket. (There are) 41 recommendations in the review, I think. I won't go into more detail than that."
The full review will be released at 1pm Monday (AEDT).