David Warner may first have to brush up on the mastery of his own tongue before he contemplates becoming fluent in any of the other languages spoken throughout mainstream the cricket world. It is laughable that he urges Rohit Sharma to speak English when he himself cannot grasp simple rules of grammar, writes Michael Jeh
Australia Day — perfect timing for David Warner to check with the Indians to see if they are all fluent sledgers in English. In the interests of fairness, one presumes that every Australian team touring overseas will do likewise and only abuse opponents in the local dialect. They will be rounded global citizens, insults slipping off the tongue easily in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Afrikaans, Zulu, Sinhalese and Shona.
David Warner. Pic/Getty Images
To be honest, Warner may first have to brush up on the mastery of his own tongue before he contemplates becoming fluent in any of the other languages spoken throughout the mainstream cricket world. It is laughable that he urges Rohit Sharma to speak English when he himself cannot grasp the simple rules of grammar. Check this quote out — on so many levels, it makes him look like, like, like...Warner.
"So I did the polite thing and asked him to speak English, therefore he did, and I can't repeat what he said. I thought I was okay by asking him to speak English and I'm going to say it a couple of times if he keeps saying it in Hindi. I got slapped on the wrist yesterday by the ICC, I shouldn't have engaged him and should have went to the other side to my fielding position, but I didn't."
So he did the 'polite' thing apparently. And then he "should have went to the other side". Not all overseas players are like Sharma — some of them speak the Queen's English. Just ask Andrew Flintoff. He used the C word live on-air when commentating in a Big Bash game recently during peak family viewing time on a Sunday evening at 7 pm. How charming. His reward? Invited to be miked up again in the very next match.
An honorary Australian is our Freddie. Note to Warner; honorary doesn't mean honourable. Fortunately, Warner has a predictable ally in Darren Lehmann who keeps urging Australia to play aggressive cricket and teeter pretty close to the line of acceptability. The fact that they've shown a complete lack of ability to walk that fine line doesn't stop him from still pretending that there exists an imaginary line that all other teams have to agree to.
Michael Clarke in Brisbane and Cape Town recently lost sight of that line. Lehmann himself accidentally forgot where that line was when he called the Sri Lankans "black c***s" when he was caught short of the line in an ODI in 2003 at the Gabba. At least he was speaking English at the time so even the Match Referee, Clive Lloyd, a dark-skinned chap himself, got the gist of what Boof head meant.
Warner's learned his lesson now though. He's been fined 50% of his match fee. He might even struggle to pay his rent now. Poor lad — we should pass the hat around for a collection. These hefty fines are really working — everyone's swearing in English now. Someone forgot to tell Harbajhan though!
The other wonderful irony is when Warner refers to "cricket etiquette". So taking an overthrow when the ball richochets off the batsman (big words those, richochet and etiquette — the bloody French - always corrupting our language!) is against the spirit of cricket but abusing opponents is acceptable? How quaint. Clearly, Warner thinks he is now the official person in charge of deciding what constitutes 'cricket etiquette'. To make matters worse, it appears that the ball did not hit Sharma anyway so not only was his outrage hypocritical, it was a clear faux pas.
Faux pas? What's that? A slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion. For Warner, another faux pas and he may find himself suspended unless the Match Referees adopt a more laissez-faire attitude to any indiscretion involving Australia. Laissez faire — why can't you just say "the practice or doctrine of noninterference in the affairs of others, especially with reference to individual conduct or freedom of action"? Speak English will you!
Michael Jeh is a Brisbane-based former first-class player