England’s cricketers will not face new ground rules as a result of David Warner’s bar-room bust-up with Joe Root.
Australia batsman Warner issued a full mea culpa for throwing a punch at his English counterpart in the early hours of Sunday morning, when members of both teams were out at a Walkabout theme pub in Birmingham.
Warner has been banned by Cricket Australia until the first Test of the Ashes next month, but the England and Wales Cricket Board are satisfied that none of the players present at the time, believed to include Yorkshire’s Root, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes, did anything wrong.
The ECB investigated the incident and concluded that no blame could be attached to Sheffield-born Root or his team-mates and captain Alastair Cook has confirmed they had permission to be out following the 48-run over Australia at Edgbaston.
Assistant coach Richard Halsall said procedures would not be altered but did concede that the altercation would focus all players on their duties.
“I don’t think it (ECB policy) will change because of what happened, but it is a reminder that there are standards expected of cricketers,” he said.
“When playing for England you have responsibilities and that’s been reinforced.
“It’s about conducting themselves with maturity and if there’s the same time frame (between games) the same decisions will be made because there was nothing wrong with what our players did.”
Halsall also suggested England were content with the punishment dished out to Warner, who is highly unlikely to start the Ashes without any match practice and was also fined £7,000.
“The director of cricket (Andy Flower) was involved in our investigation, as was (one-day coach) Ashley Giles.
“We’ve got procedures we go through for matters like this and we dealt with it internally. We were very satisfied with the accounts we were given and then it was down to Cricket Australia to deal with it as they wished.
“We would never attempt to tell another board how to go about their business and we were satisfied with what CA did.”
Although England lost their second Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka at The Oval and now face a battle to remain in the competition, Root’s response to recent events was a big bonus.
The 22-year-old hit a fluent 68 in 55 balls, proving he has hardly been affected by Warner’s blow - or the attendant media interest.
“I don’t think we were worried, not with Joe,” said Halsall.
“He has a very simple way of approaching the game. If there’s anywhere he’s happiest it’s when he’s playing cricket. The other stuff he puts to one side because he loves playing cricket for England.
“It must have been satisfying but I don’t think he will acknowledge that it was a more significant innings for him.
“He’s so well balanced it won’t mean any more or any less to him than Nagpur or Napier. He just wants to bat.
“Joe has a healthy way of looking at things, he’s not trying to prove people wrong or right or fight for his place. I don’t know him but it’s a bit like Mike Hussey – who appeared as if he just loved cricket, whether it’s an Ashes Test, a World Cup final or a net session.”
Those who feel England’s one-day game might be better off without run machine Jonathan Trott may be about to get their wish if a quad injury rules the batsman out of tomorrow’s must-win Champions Trophy match against New Zealand.
Trott’s method has its detractors in the 50-over format, with a reluctance to take risks in pursuit of boundaries seen by some as an overly cautious approach.
But his results brook no argument. In 62 matches he has plundered over 2,500 runs at a stellar average of 52.56, while his much-debated strike-rate is a far from shoddy 76.42.
England are committed to employing Trott as their anchor at No 3, allowing more expansive players the chance to bat aggressively later in the innings.
That plan seemed to work ideally against Sri Lanka on Thursday, Trott top-scoring with 76 in a promising total of 293-7. But Sri Lanka made light work of that, Kumar Sangakkara leading his side to a seven-wicket win with an immaculate 134 not out.
Trott was off the field for much of that masterclass and faces a fitness test to see if he will be available to face the Black Caps in Cardiff, a match where England will probably need to dodge the rain and win to make the semi-finals. Halsall said: “Jonathan had a tight right quad and we thought the best thing to do was to get him off before things got significantly worse.
“We have to have a look at him tomorrow at training and we don’t know yet if he’ll be fit.”
Responding to Trott critics, who are less prominent than they used to be, Halsall gave short shrift. “Trott’s in the top 10 one-day batsmen in the world and he builds a magnificent platform for us,” he said.
“It’s always reassuring to have him there. People who continue to talk about him haven’t really looked at the black and white facts.
“He continues to put us in a position to score big scores which we should defend, like Thursday.”
The latter comment reflects a frustration among the England camp that they could not defend a sizeable total at The Oval, and indeed managed just three wickets along the way.
“We were expecting to win the game at halfway,” said Halsall.
“We didn’t bowl in the disciplined manner we did against Australia in the first game and we couldn’t hammer out the consistent lengths we did against Australia.
Trott aside, England may yet have to do without Tim Bresnan against New Zealand.
His wife was due to give birth during the NatWest Series against the same opposition but has still not done so, meaning he could be withdrawn at any time to attend.
Such a situation would be a blow to England, but a relief to Mrs Bresnan.
“It’s been quite a while and I think Tim’s wife would be pleased if the baby would come along now,” said Halsall.
“She’s bored of being pregnant but there’s no news. He’s ready to go when it happens.”
Bresnan’s absence would open the door for either Steven Finn or James Tredwell.