Melbourne: Cricket legend Shane Warne has come under fire for questioning Australian players on whether they were "thirsty" and how long their celebratory drinking session would last after they won the World Cup. Commentator Warne was on the field, microphone in hand, to interview players immediately after their seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the sport's one-day showcase on Sunday.
"Are you feeling thirsty?" he asked wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who assured him he was ready to try to have a beer with every one of the 93,013 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He went on to enquire of batsman Steve Smith: "Are you going to have a bit of a drink tonight too Smitty? Are you going to get thirsty as well?"
With Shane Watson and Josh Hazlewood he questioned whether celebrations would last "one night, two nights.... (coach) Darren Lehmann said it might last a week". The remarks quickly drew a torrent of sarcasm on social media. "How much will you be drinking? How much beer will you drink? Drinks, anyone?" Shane Warne asking the tough questions," quipped one Twitter user. Wrote another: "Is anyone going to have a drink with warnie? anyone? guys? anyone? warnie?"
Journalist Andrew Bolt described Warne as a "complete bogan", using the slang Australian term which roughly translates as "trashy", and said even in the drinking section of the MCG there were groans at Warne's "crassness". "No other country would on winning the World Cup make such a celebration of drinking and drunks," he wrote in a blog post on Melbourne's Herald-Sun website. "Just as well Pakistan didn't win.
Can you imagine Bradman being asked this stuff?" As photographs were circulating on social media of the Australian team enjoying their win, several said they had enjoyed a night of partying after the emphatic victory.
"We've seen the sun come up here in Melbourne, it's been an amazing 24 hours," Smith told Sydney radio station Triple M, adding that the team had shared a beer with the New Zealanders after the game. Warne hit back on Twitter, telling do-gooders to "get stuffed". "Straya (Australia) is the best place in the world, not politically correct, keep it real. Aussies celebrate properly! #thirsty," he tweeted.