Australian cricket star David Warner is taking his attacking batting a bit too far by converting his cricketing venom into off-the-field trash.

Warner’s most recent case of playing down the wrong line as it were was when he accused the South African team of ball tampering their way to victory in the second Test match at Port Elizabeth last week.

Obviously, Warner is not prioritising the aspects that he should be focusing on — why his team lost after being one-up in the series and what stopped him from ensuring his contribution was a match-winning one.

Whether a team is up to tricks is for the International Cricket Council’s match officials to spot and deal with. And even if there was a doubt, it should have been expressed to the match referee Roshan Mahanama by Warner’s captain Michael Clarke behind close doors.

Stricter action needed
The fine imposed by the ICC 15 per cent of his match fee is far too light for an offence that involves accusing a team of cheating in public and the apex cricket body must adopt a zero-tolerance approach to players questioning their opponents’ integrity. Warner’s act also appears to be a case of sour grapes.

Warner has not learnt from his recent controversies that involved landing a punch on England batsman Joe Root in Birmingham in 2013. Earlier that year, Warner launched a Twitter tirade against two prominent Australian journalists, Robert Craddock and Malcolm Conn after Craddock called the Indian Premier League in which Warner was participating, a “smouldering cesspit.”

Warner’s antics are all the more surprising because Australian cricketers are well-trained to deal with the media. The New South Welshman is a very fine batsman who can turn a Test match in a session. He can also upset his fans and the game in the main with greater alacrity. He must straighten up and fly right.