David Warner is one of the most aggressive batsmen in modern cricket. However, Warner’s aggression has given expression beyond wielding the willow, both on and off the field, which has landed him in copious trouble. Late New Zealand legend Martin Crowe had lashed out at Warner once following on-field transgression, calling him “the most juvenile cricketer I have seen on a cricket field” and dubbed his energy “hideous” that has a negative influence on his teammates.

Warner gave up alcohol and made a desperate attempt to better his image. Warner let his bat do most of the talking and was soon rewarded with Australian vice-captaincy. He often led during Steven Smith‘s absence. He was also appointed Sunrisers Hyderabad’s skipper in 2015, and led them to championship the following year.

However, 2018 saw Warner date controversies again. The ball-tampering incident tops all charts and it earned him a yearlong ban, along with Cricket Australia (CA) making it clear that he won’t lead Australia  again. In fact, there are question marks hovering over his future as Australian cricketer.

Here are 13 controversies involving Warner:

1. Warner’s Twitter war with Brett Geeves

Brett Geeves, the former Australia fast bowler, was at the receiving end of Warner’s tirade on Twitter in 2011. It all started when Geeves tweeted about Warner’s mannerism on hitting a six off his Tasmania teammate Ben Hilfenhaus. He tweeted, “Any young children that saw D Warners reaction after hitting Hilf for biggest 6 ever – take that as an example of humility gone wrong (sic).”

In reply, Warner accused him of uttering a racial slur on the field of play. Here is what he expressed in a series of tweets, “@brettygeevs don’t know what kids would b following u but remember what u said to hughy that’s right, lucky u were not playing, c..k.”

He continued, “got to hate it when ur own squad don’t like you bahahahaha.”

He finally sent this tweet to Geeves: “want 2 talk humility u were lucky one player refused to follow up on your racial vilification slur u made on the field.”

Cricket Australia (CA) intervened and disciplined both of them, following which the duo solved it amicably.

2. Warner’s Twitter war with Australian journalists

In 2013, when Robert Craddock wrote a comment piece about the Indian Premier League (IPL) and its negative side, Warner’s photo appeared near it. That irked Warner to the extent that he sent Craddock a few abusive and ill-tempered tweets.

He tweeted, “Wow @crashcraddock1 some smart journo who thinks he can bringDown people. Well done CHAMP!! (sic).”

He tweeted as many as six times.

“Shock me @crashcraddock1 (Robert Craddock) talking s*** about ipl jealous p****. Get a real job. All you do is bag people. #getalife’. (sic)”

Warner expressed. He also got into a heated exchange with Malcolm Conn, a very senior journalist. That article was written in the light of the IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy.

On returning to Australia, CA fined him A$5,750. Warner defended himself by saying that he was not happy with the fact that his picture had appeared there, “I was trying to defend myself because anyone who looks at the photograph can automatically assume that I’m related to what happened over there. If I let it go and didn’t say anything, was I going to be defended by others? We just don’t know that. What I did through Twitter, for myself it was disappointing and I shouldn’t have done that and I shouldn’t have used the language that I did.”

3. Warner suspended for punching Joe Root in a bar

This was perhaps the lowest ebb of Warner’s career till ball-tampering. After an Australia-England game at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Warner had an altercation with Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham. Warner had allegedly tried to punch him. As a result, he was banned from playing for the remaining games at the Champions Trophy and the first Test of the Ashes 2013 that followed. Warner made a public apology and said that Root had forgiven him.

This came only a month after the Twitter battle with the journalists and cast a huge shadow over his career. He was then sent to play for Australia A in Africa to work on his batting and then returned into the side.

4. Warner’s on-field altercation with Thami Tsolekile

When Warner was sent to Africa following the Root episode, he was involved in another controversy of sorts. During a match between Australia A and South Africa A in Pretoria, he was involved in a on-field altercation with Thami Tsolekile. Things got so heated up that Vaughn van Jaarsveld intervened to separate the two.

After the game Warner tweeted to only play it down, “Great to be back playing cricket, had lots of fun this week and a bit of friendly banter from the wicketkeeper. Was very funny!” CA also confirmed that no action was being taken as the incident was not reported by the officials.

5. Warner skips match to watch a horse race!

In October 2013, Warner did not play for his club in Sydney’s Grade Cricket as he was away watching a horse race.

Cricket New South Wales immediately reprimanded him. Their head, Andrew Jones said, “This has been an unfortunate episode. Like most cricket fans, I and all at Cricket NSW would like nothing more than to see David Warner achieve his potential on and off the field. However, in order to do this David needs to ensure that he is doing the right things and working closely with the organisation in all areas.”

 6. Warner calls Jonathan Trott “weak”

When Mitchell Johnson wrecked havoc against England in the first Test in the Ashes 2013-14, Jonathan Trott was one of the victims. The English batsman was struggling with a few issues and Warner then went on to say, “It does look like they’ve got scared eyes at the moment, and the way that Trotty got out today was pretty poor and pretty weak.”

This attracted the ire of the cricket world as Trott soon pulled out of the Ashes tour citing “stress and anxiety” and is yet to make a return to the England side. Warner’s comments were deemed insensitive.

Warner later admitted that he went too far with his comments. Trott had the last laugh. Over four years later, when Warner received a yearlong ban for ball-tampering, Trott was quick to tweet:

7. Warner makes ball-tampering allegations against South Africa

With the Test series locked at 1-1 in 2014, Warner rocked South Africa when he claimed that the hosts had tampered the ball better than the visitors. Speaking to Sky Sports Radio, “I think it comes down to the umpires warning both teams not to throw the ball into the wicket, which you generally try and do. They did it better than what we did, or more obvious than what we did.”

South Africa’s manager Mohammed Mosajee denied those claims and went on to say, “Hardly anyone takes anything David Warner says seriously anyways.”

His teammates and support staff did not approve of his comments and it irked many in the fraternity when he accused wicketkeeper AB de Villiers that he used his “glove to wipe the rough side every ball”

8. Warner needles India at Adelaide

During the 2014 Adelaide Test against India, Varun Aaron bowled Warner. And as the Australian walked back, a pumped-up Aaron shouted “come on” in his celebratory mood. The on-field umpires, however, referred the matter to the third umpire and declared Aaron had overstepped. As Warner continued his walk back, he kept muttering “come on” a few times. The chatter continued and Shikhar Dhawan got involved. Virat Kohli entered the fray and tried to control the situation.

Warner was fined 15 percent of his match fee for this incident.

9. Warner takes on Rohit Sharma for speaking in Hindi

During the second One-Day International (ODI) between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), in January 2015, Warner threw at the striker’s end. The ball went past Rohit Sharma, eluded Brad Haddin and the batsmen ran for the resultant overthrow. Warner charged at Rohit and an exchange ensured between the two. After the game, Warner said that he had asked Rohit to speak in English as the Indian batsmen kept saying something in Hindi.

Warner was fined for the incident. While he admitted he was wrong to charge at Rohit, he said that his ‘speak English’ comment was not derogatory as he did not understand Hindi. Warner was fined 50 per cent of his match fees.

10. Warner lashes out at du Plessis for ball-tampering

In Hobart 2016, South African skipper Faf du Plessis was seen shining the ball using saliva but had a mint in his mouth. He was fined and earned three demerit points from ICC.

Warner then had famously said, “I just know from an Australian cricket perspective, we hold our heads high and, you know, I’d be very disappointed if one of our team members did that and how they were reacting. The rules are in place for a reason, if you’re not going to use them, then why bother having them?

“That’s just the fortunate thing these days, they’ve got the rules and they’re going to stand by their decisions, and I think that’s a good thing.”

Is Warner biting his tongue now?

11. The Ashes or war?

Ahead of The Ashes 2017-18, Warner made distasteful comments and was criticised for the same.

“As soon as you step on that line it’s war,” Warner said on ABC Grandstand. “You try and get into a battle as quick as you can. I try and look in the opposition’s eyes and try and work out ‘how can I dislike this player, how can I get on top of him?’”

Former English cricketer Marcus Trescothick called the comments, “pathetic.” Joe Root and Stuart Broad felt the comments were “extreme” and The Ashes wasn’t about hatred or war.

Later, during The Ashes, Warner was involved in a heated exchange with England’s Tom Curran.

David Warner, Ball-tampering, Australia
David Warner giving it back to Tom Curran (Image courtesy: AFP)

12. Scuffle with QDK

During the Durban Test this month, CCTV footage showed an altercation between Warner and Quinton de Kock on the staircase leading to the team dressing rooms. Warner was seen being pulled back by his teammates as he was trying to get strikingly close to the South African wicketkeeper, who reportedly made comments about Warner’s wife, Candice.

De Kock maintained that Warner provoked him with continuous sledging. He was charged with level 1 offence, whereas Warner was hit with three demerit points and fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

13. Warner instigates ball-tampering 

Just when we thought we had seen all the drama in the South Africa-Australia series, here came the mother of all. Cameron Bancroft was caught tampering the ball on Day Three of the Cape Town Test with sandpaper. Skipper Steven Smith accepted that it was a part of the ploy and the leadership group was aware of it.

For being a part of the ploy, Smith and Warner were handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia. Bancroft received a nine-month ban, whereas Warner and Smith were stripped off their leadership roles and banned for year. It was announced that Warner wouldn’t captain Australia again.

A tearful Warner addressed the press on Saturday.

According to reports, Warner was the key conspirator to the whole thing. Warner, who had led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their IPL 2016 triumph, was banned by BCCI from participating in the league for the 2018 edition.

**The article was first published in January 2015