Sydney: Australian team coach Mickey Arthur has slammed the England Cricket Board (ECB), saying that the ECB has made David Warner`s nightclub incident look worse by fanning the flames.
After news of the Warner incident broke days later, the ECB lost no time in releasing a strongly-worded and widely-reported statement describing the Australian batsman`s actions as an `unprovoked physical attack` on England star Joe Root.
Although eyewitness accounts said that Warner`s offence amounted, at worst, to a solitary glancing blow, however, the opener was fined heavily and suspended till the first Ashes Test on July 10 by Cricket Australia following a hearing.
Stating that ECB would have a `field day` if the Australian squad did not become street smart, Arthur advised the evolving team to learn from the fallout and told them to make the right decisions, adding that such occurrences are a part and parcel of touring England.
Arthur further said that although some players like Warner have learnt the lesson the hard way, he hoped that they would come out more improved and in a better form from the incidents.
However, Arthur`s pointing his finger at the ECB and media indicated that the Australian camp might still not consider the incident at The Walkabout bar to have been a major breach of team discipline.
Admitting that Australia`s recent off-field dramas and retirement of senior players had expanded his job description to `mediator, mentor, conciliator, coach, Arthur said that his stint as the coach of Australia has been the most challenging experience of his career, although he added that despite any suggestions to the contrary, team standards were rising rather than falling.
According to the South African coach, it is necessary to realise that the team has changed considerably, adding that even though many players still need guidance and direction, they can yet be turned from good to great, adding that the team wants the Australian badge to be `the brand in world cricket`.