DETAILS have emerged that Australian star David Warner was out drinking again two nights after he punched England batsman Joe Root in a nightclub in Birmingham.
The alleged alcohol-related physical attack by Warner in the early hours of Sunday morning on an Ashes rival at the Walkabout Bar has sent Australia’s tour ambitions into turmoil.
England said in a statement the attack on their player was unprovoked and there is no dispute on that version of events from Australia, who are to hold a hearing in the next 24 hours over amid mounting pressure Warner should be sent home from the tour.
Warner was immediately stood down from Wednesday’s Champions Trophy clash with New Zealand at Edgbaston and was later seen helping to carry drinks during Australia’s innings.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said they were not investigating any other incidents involving Warner, when asked by AAP.
However, sources close to a rival team say Warner was seen drinking at Birmingham’s Hyatt Hotel and Walkabout Hotel into the early hours of Tuesday morning as well.
There is no suggestion Warner was involved in inappropriate behaviour, however Cricket Australia are sure to be concerned if they establish their opening batsman was out two nights before they played a do-or-die Champions Trophy clash against the Black Caps.
Walkabout manager John Creighton has been quoted saying Warner has been a familiar face to the venue’s bar staff.
The Warner and Root stoush happened after England had beaten Australia in their Champions Trophy opener at Edgbaston.
Rumours have circulated on social media that Warner reacted to Root wearing what’s been described as a Hashim Amla wig or mask.
Amla is a Muslim cricketer from South Africa.
However, England issued a statement saying the altercation was unprovoked.
“Following a statement issued this morning by Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirms that David Warner initiated an unprovoked physical attack on a member of the England team in a Birmingham bar following England’s 48-run victory over Australia,” the statement said.
“Warner has admitted behaving inappropriately and has since apologised to the player involved who has accepted the apology.
“Following a full investigation the England team management has concluded that the England player was in no way responsible for nor retaliated to the attack.”
The incident occurred at the Walkabout Australian-themed pub on lively Broad Street in Birmingham, where the wearing of wigs and hats is not uncommon.
The Daily Mirror reported Warner had grabbed at a wig being worn by Root before striking him.
Sources have confirmed Warner was one of six Australian players who were drinking at the Walkabout with several England players, including Root and Stuart Broad.
Players were drinking together in a VIP-area.
“They were in the VIP area as a group and then you see a bit of something, and then everybody reacts, the doormen walk over and then everybody is calm and it’s over,” The Walkabout’s Creighton said.
“You see a swing and Joe Root move back. They sorted it out between themselves.
“About 10 minutes after that, David Warner goes and pays the bill, and Root, Broad, and Finn leave in good spirits.”
Sources, who didn’t wish to comment, that were at the venue at the time claim players were drinking heavily and exchanging in banter with their Ashes counterparts.
England said Root was not hurt and that Warner apologised to Root.
“Joe seems fine,” Cook told Sky Sports News.
“It’s unfortunate this has happened and he wants to put it behind him.
“After investigating it from our side, we don’t believe we have done anything wrong.
“It’s a shame it has happened, in some way it has marred what was a very good win for us.
“Our conduct in the England team is vitally important. We are aware of our position and responsibilities.”
It’s Warner’s second disciplinary issue in three weeks after being fined for lashing out at two Australian journalists on Twitter.
New Zealand players were the first to hear about the Warner and Root rumours.