South Africa v Australia: Time to reign in David Warner and put an end to 'mental dis-integration'

Alex Broun 7/03/2018
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David Warner needs to tone down

Graeme Smith says David Warner is a ‘bit of a fool’ for losing his cool in “stairwell-gate

As an Australian, it’s difficult to take sides in this heated dispute – especially the other side – but it’s hard not to agree with the former Proteas captain here.

Warner led an hour long “mental disintegration” assault on Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram as the South African duo threatened to pull off one of the greatest rescue acts in Test cricket history.

The tirade included Warner labelling de Kock’s sister a “bush pig” and also comments about the wicket-keepers mother. As Ron Burgundy said – “Leave mom out of it!”

Warner is even captured as the teams are going off the field still berating de Kock calling him a “f****** sook.” Class act Dave!

David Warner and his wife Candice Falzon.

David Warner and his wife Candice Falzon.

A few moments later the usually quiet de Kock had finally had enough and as the teams entered the dressing rooms fired back a comment relating to Warner’s wife, Candice Falzon, and an infamous tryst with All Blacks rugby star Sonny Bill Williams.

Cue hysteria from Warner who then had to be restrained by team mates. In the end it looked like Warner was the one “mentally dis-integrating.”

The Australian team and management then lined up in mock outrage – “We never get personal”, “They took it too far”, “De Kock crossed the line”.

The rest of the world is now asking ‘What exact line would that be?’

The same line that Ramnaresh Sarwan crossed replying to Glenn McGrath back in 2003 – Glenn similarly when into overdrive.

Sarwan and McGrath crossed "the line' back in 2003.

Sarwan and McGrath crossed “the line’ back in 2003.

But if you are going to call someone’s sister a “bush-pig” what else do you expect.

Davey, Davey, Davey – glass house. Big stone. Play with fire, get burnt. What don’t you get?

Coach Darren Lehmann stood by Warner after the incident but hopefully behind closed doors he is a delivering a different message.

Something along the lines of: “David – you are a remarkable man who has turned his life around both on and off the field, you and Candice have created a wonderful family. Do you really want your kids to see you behaving like this? We don’t need to do this to win cricket games.”

But the question is now being asked can the Aussie team win cricket matches without acting like goats?

Is this “mental dis-integration” approach so linked to their psyche that they become, as McGrath would say, “p******” without it?

It’s good to see the ICC stepping in and sanctioning Warner, and to a lesser extent De Kock, but the Umpires on the field – Kumar Dharmasena and Sundaram Ravi – should have acted sooner.

Kumar Dharmasena (r) should have acted quicker in Durban.

Kumar Dharmasena (r) should have acted quicker in Durban.

If you’re not stepping in when someone’s sister is being branded an animal – when are you going to?

It was the duo’s lack of action that allowed the situation to overheat as it did and resulted in the greatly regrettable outburst that followed.

Let’s hope when things get heated on Friday in Port Elizabeth – as no doubt they will – the Umps get involved earlier.

Cricket does not need – nor can it stand – too many more blow-ups in stairwells.

Already there is a lot of competition from other sports for the hearts and minds of young men and women.

When parents see a player with the standing of Warner acting in such an appalling manner – and that behaviour being supported by his team mates (yes you Tim Paine), captain and coach – what kind of message does it send out?

As a former wicketkeeper myself and one who indulged in more than enough sledging in my time – the practice does not do any credit to either party: the sledger or the sledged.

This kind of crude ‘banter’ is only accepted in cricket and there is no reason why it should be tolerated any longer.

For the game’s sake it’s time for the sledging to end.

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Former South Africa star Herschelle Gibbs begins new innings as coach of Kuwait men's team

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Gibbs has kick-started his coaching career.

Former South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs has been appointed as the new coach of the Kuwait national team.

Gibbs was officially appointed as the coach of the middle-east nation on February 18 during the conclusion of Kuwait Cricket’s annual general meeting, the Kuwait Times reported on Tuesday.

The maverick Proteas cricketer was in the news recently after India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin responded with a match-fixing jibe to his Twitter banter.

Gibbs was on hand to attend the AGM at the Kuwaiti capital, where he was called on to the stage by the president Haider Farman.

During the meeting, plans were also laid out for the men’s team preparations for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in April.

On his part, the South African expressed excitement on his appointment and stressed the importance of fitness and team work to achieve short and long term goals.

The gifted former batsman has 90 Test caps, 248 ODI and 23 T20 appearances for his country in a 15 year long international career.  He scored over 8,000 runs in the one-day format with the help of 21 hundreds while scoring over 6,000 runs in Test cricket on the back of 14 tons.

He is most fondly remembered for smashing an 111-ball 175 against Australia at the Wanderers to help South Africa chase down a world-record 434 in an ODI during 2006.

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Kapil Dev urges Virat Kohli to play county cricket to improve record in England

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Kapil Dev wants Kohli to be able to score runs in every condition.

Former India skipper Kapil Dev has advised Virat Kohli to test his mettle in the county cricket circuit if he wants to prepare himself for the tour of England.

The legendary all-rounder had led India to their maiden ICC World Cup crown in 1983, on English soil. While speaking to the British media, Kapil Dev emphasised on the point that Kohli should be able to score runs in all conditions to be considered a true great of the game.

“Practice makes a man perfect. One has to practise those conditions,” he said.

“The bar which we as cricketers set for these people is that you have to be good in all conditions. That’s what we used to say about Allan Border or Vivian Richards or Sunil Gavaskar – they were players to play any part, anywhere, any kind of conditions, they used to perform.

“Virat Kohli, the question mark is in front of him, it’s there. He has to get runs where it is considered to be the toughest conditions in the world.”

India are slated to tour England in June this year n for five Tests, as many ODIs and a sole T20. Kohli, who has been scoring run for fun of late, has a dismal record in England compared to his remarkable numbers in other parts of the world.

The right-handed batsman had averaged a measly 13.4 on his last tour of the country in 2014.

The 29-year-old has previously expressed his desire to test himself in county cricket. However, with his commitments to the Indian Premier League (IPL), it will be a difficult call for the Indian skipper to make since it clashes with the county season.

Kapil Dev believes a season or two in county cricket could do Kohli a world of good.

Kapil Dev led India to its first World Cup title in 1983.

Kapil Dev led India to its first World Cup title in 1983.

“What we’re seeing, with his temperament, I think he’s good enough. It all depends if he gets a good start. He has the ability,” he stated.

“If he can play a season or two in English county cricket there would be nothing wrong, because if you want to be the best player in the world you have to get runs everywhere.”

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma have signed up for county teams for the 2018 season after missing out on the IPL auctions earlier.

Previously, many Indian stalwarts have tried their hand in England’s domestic competition. The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Rahul Dravid and Ravichandran Ashwin have all had various stints in county cricket over the course of their careers.

While his multi-million dollar deal with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL means it is impossible that the Indian superstar will play county cricket any time soon, it would be great to see Kohli take up the challenge of county cricket somewhere down the line.

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