David Warner reveals why he asked Rohit Sharma to "speak English"

Sagnik Kundu

The ugly spat between Warner and Rohit in 2014-15

What’s the story?

Earlier today, Australian vice-captain David Warner spoke at length about an incident that transpired between him and Rohit Sharma during India's tour of Australia back in 2014-15.

In the midst of a heated argument, Warner asked Rohit to "speak English". While that was interpreted in many different ways, the explosive Australian opener now revealed that he said that because Rohit would have been penalised for cursing if he had said the same word in English.

ESPNcricinfo quoted Warner as saying, "I felt I had a valid point there because if I'm going to swear in a different language on the big screen, nobody is going to do something about it. But if I said what he was saying to me, in English, and you could lip read me - I'll still get in trouble anyway."

In case you didn’t know…

This happened during an ODI tri-series between India and Australia. Rohit Sharma violated one of the unwritten rules of cricket during the match by deflecting a throw from Warner and snatching an extra run. The Australians took it upon themselves to hector him for it, and soon, footage showed Warner approaching Sharma and mouthing the words "speak English".

Warner had previously engaged in an on-field fight in 2013 when he punched the English cricketer Joe Root. After that incident, Cricket Australia's CEO James Sutherland banned the cricketer from playing the 2013 Ashes warm-up match.

The heart of the matter

The left-handed opening batsman added that he was really disappointed with the way things panned out. It was not a racially motivated comment, like many believed - he just wanted his adversary to repeat the profanity in a language that everyone would understand, so that he would be punished for it.

Although Warner has now revealed his actual intentions, this is different from what he said right after the incident, when he told Sky Sports Radio that because he could not understand Hindi, he wanted Rohit to repeat the words in English.

What’s next?

After the incident, Warner was fined half his match fee. But these are things long past, and raking them up now will only create further controversy.

Author’s take

Warner has mellowed down significantly over the last few years, even eliciting a change in his nickname from the "Bull" to the "Reverend". He has cut back on sledging but compromises nothing on his explosive batting style. And cricket fans would want it to stay that way.