Bailey dismisses 'good teammate' Warner's 'punching' incident as 'very minor'
Sydney: Australian stand-in captain George Bailey has dismissed controversial opener David Warner`s nightclub altercation with England batsman Joe Root as `very minor`.
Warner, who punched Root while he was at The Walkabout bar in Birmingham on Saturday night drinking with teammates and England rivals, was stood down from Wednesday`s ICC Champions Trophy clash against New Zealand.
Although the match was abandoned due to rain, with New Zealand 2-51 after 15 overs, chasing Australia`s total of 6-243, Warner still attended the game and carried drinks.
Admitting that he was made aware of the incident several days before Wednesday`s match, Bailey said that although he was disappointed at the incident, he felt that the issue was minor and had been blown out of context
Joking that Warner took the whole incident `on the chin` and had an outstanding attitude towards the group, Bailey defended Warner as a good and a generous teammate, saying that he is impressed with Warner`s enthusiasm, energy and wished that he had the talent that Warner possesses.
Bailey further said that he looked forward to playing a lot more cricket with Warner in whatever career he has.
Although a Cricket Australia (CA) code of behaviour judicial hearing is expected to take place, however, the fact that Australian team members were aware of the incident days before it was made public is a worrying sign for management should Warner be found to have a serious case to answer.
It is Warner`s second disciplinary hearing in three weeks, after previously being fined nearly 6000 dollars for abusing two Australian journalists on Twitter.
Speculation about the assault was originally circulated by New Zealand players who heard about Warner`s trouble when they turned up at Edgbaston for training on Tuesday.