Warner grateful to stay on tour after bar assault

SHAMED batsman David Warner confessed yesterday he feels lucky not to have been sent home from Australia’s tour of England, after Cricket Australia dished out a suspension until the start of the Ashes series and fined the 26-year-old £7,000 following an assault on rival Joe Root.

Warner punched Root during a night out in a Birmingham bar following Australia’s 48-run Champions Trophy defeat to the hosts on Saturday, admitting he had “had a couple of drinks”.

Having already apologised privately to Root, Warner did so again publically yesterday and acknowledged he is fortunate to have retained his place with the touring party.

“Definitely. I have to be a bit smarter with what I do on and off the field,” he said. “I have accepted the punishment. It’s up to me to be accountable for my actions, which I am, and try not to be aggressive, like I did.

“I won’t deny I had a couple of drinks, but there’s no excuse for that. I did what I did and it’s totally out of line.

“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 will miss the rest of Australia’s Champions Trophy campaign, plus two four-day warm-up matches against Somerset and Worcestershire ahead of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, which commences on 10 July.

His latest misdemeanor follows a series of foul-mouthed rants at journalists via Twitter last month, for which Warner was fined £3,700.

And Warner is now determined to put a troublesome period behind him.

“It’s disappointing to have two incidents in a matter of months,” he said.

“I’m here to apologise for my actions and it’s come two or three weeks after that incident occurred in India. I’ve got to draw a line over it and move on.”