QUESTION – You are a member of the Australia management in England four weeks before the Ashes.
Your opening batsman has punched an English rival in an Aussie-themed pub, he looks remorseful after you ban him for one game – what would you do next?
Would you a) pack his bags, put him on the first flight home vowing he will never play cricket for Australia again or b) accept his remorse, make him apologise, hand him a massive fine and warn him he is living on
Either one is acceptable really, perhaps b) attracts less headlines and maybe gets your opening batsman to think long and hard about what he wants.
Instead the Australian management chose secret option c) completely knacker their chances in the Ashes with the weirdest punishment ever handed out.
David Warner has been banned from playing for Australia until the first test match of the Ashes on July 10, yes he has been fined but he will be a cricketer not allowed to play cricket while his mates can.
Now I understand he will probably be dropped for the first test as a result but consider this – Chris Rogers, the only other opener who could be consider as Phil Hughes is so badly out of nick, was dismissed TWICE
in one day for Middlesex against Yorkshire yesterday.
If his run continues and the Aussie selectors stick with Hughes at three you could have Warner walking out to the middle for the first ball of the Ashes having not played cricket for over a month!
In effect, this 'punishment' is the Australian selectors offering to start their innings at 0 for 1 and putting pressure on an already brittle batting line up.
Michael Clarke and coach Micky Arthur appear to be hell-bent on enforcing the law on this squad. Easy when you are respected like Waugh and Ponting were, harder when most of the dressing room don't like
Either way, the Aussies appear to be on the backfoot in the lead up to the Ashes series, it will be Captain Cook's job to keep them there.
Cloudy morning July 10, bit of green to the Trent Bridge pitch – win the toss and hand the ball to Anderson and Broad skipper!