Brisbane: Slamming Australian opener David Warner for his "thuggish" behaviour in recent times, former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has said that it's time cricket takes a cue from football and introduces yellow and red cards for on-field misconduct.
"Watching from the luxury of my couch and after hearing numerous accounts from respected cricket people, there is a growing concern that David Warner's thuggish behaviour has gone too far. Soon one day it will lead to an incident that will sully the game for good," Crowe wrote in his column on 'ESPNcricinfo'.
Crowe's comments come in the wake of Warner's recent confrontation with India's Rohit Sharma during Australia's four-wicket tri-series win in Melbourne when the opener appeared to tell his opponent to "speak English".
Though Warner, who was fined 50 per cent of his match fee, later admitted to his mistake but Crowe believes the punishment should have been more severe in order to avoid an untoward incident in future.
"Before things escalate the ICC needs to arm the officials with everything possible to stop the idiots who are ruining our enjoyment of the game. My concern in the immediate future will be that Warner will be in the centre of an ugly on-field fight during the upcoming World Cup," he said.
Warner was banished from Australia's squad after his infamouse confrontation with Joe Root at Birmingham's Walkabout bar in 2013, when he punched the England batsman following a Champions Trophy game between the sides at Edgbaston.
Warner has since become Australia's batting pillar in recent times, but his on-field behaviour still is a cause of concern.
Crowe, who who played 77 Tests and 143 one-day internationals for New Zealand, said: "Let's demand that if any cricketer gets two yellow cards during a six-month period then they are out for six months following. It's the only way to kill a hornet's nest and get this game back in a groove of respect."
"Warner can play, but he is the most juvenile cricketer I have seen on a cricket field. I don't care how good he is: if he continues to show all those watching that he doesn't care, he must be removed, either by Cricket Australia or definitely by the world governing body," he added.