Australian batsman David Warner has apologised for punching England’s Joe Root in the face in a Birmingham bar.
Warner, 26, was suspended until the first Ashes Test on July 10 and fined 7,000 (AU $11,500) after the incident early on Sunday morning.
“I struck Joe Root in the face and I’m here to apologise to Joe and own up to it,” Warner told a media conference today.
“I’m extremely remorseful. I have let my team-mates, Cricket Australia, the fans, myself and my family down.”
Warner will now miss the remainder of his country’s Champions Trophy campaign and the tour matches against Somerset and Worcestershire, although he is eligible for the first Test at Trent Bridge.
He added: “I have accepted the punishment that has been handed down and I’m accountable for my actions.
“Since then I have exchanged text messages with Joe. He accepted my apology which I am thoroughly grateful for.”
Warner, who has played in 19 Test matches for his country, was dropped for Australia’s Champions Trophy game against New Zealand on Wednesday as a punishment.
He could have been sent home from the tour after pleading guilty to a charge of “unbecoming behaviour”.
Australia captain Michael Clarke admitted Warner’s behaviour was unacceptable.
“Although the punishment for David is quite harsh that’s the reality when you play for the Australian cricket team,” said Clarke.
“This is not an IPL team, this is not state cricket, it’s not county cricket. When you play for Australia there are standards you have to uphold. His actions have not met the standard required of an Australian cricketer.”
Warner’s suspension means he will miss valuable match-practice as he aims to end a poor run of form.
He has made seven single-figure scores in his last nine innings while playing for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League and One-Day internationals for Australia
This incident is not the first time Warner has been in trouble with Cricket Australia, and last month he was fined 3,700 for a foul-mouthed Twitter exchange with two Australian journalists.
Warner admitted he needed to improve his behaviour and said: “I’ve got to be a bit smarter with what I do on and off the field. Hopefully I will still have a part to play in the Ashes.” (Sky)