David Warner’s wife says the suspended Test batsman left the field in a Sydney grade match on Saturday because he was concerned where “very hurtful” comments to him could lead.
Warner temporarily stalked off Pratten Park field mid-innings during his century for Randwick Petersham against Western Suburbs after comments from Jason Hughes – the older brother of the late Phillip Hughes.
A statement issued on Sunday by Western Suburbs rejected the charge the brief exchange was “vicious or abusive”.
Celebrating his 32nd birthday, Warner hit 157 in his second big score of the summer but the day’s play was marred after the axed Test vice-captain requested to leave the field for minutes before returning in the first session.
Warner has a reputation as a sledger in international cricket but his wife claimed this went too far.
“He left the field because first of all he didn’t like what he was hearing and where that could have been taken,” Candice Warner told the Nine Network’s Sports Sunday.
“It was hurtful, it was very hurtful.”
She said her husband left the field in order to de-escalate the situation.
“Everyone has their own opinion but there is a difference between sledging and abuse,” she said.
“I’m not going to go into the details but David was taken aback by the comments and thought they went a little bit too far, so he decided to remove himself from the game.”
— Sports Sunday (@SportsSunday) October 27, 2018
Western Suburbs’ statement denied there was anything to apologise for.
“There was no barrage of sledges aimed at David Warner by any WSDCC player,” the club insisted.
“There was a brief exchange between Jason Hughes and David Warner. This exchange had nothing to do with Phil Hughes.
“This exchange was not vicious or abusive as alleged in some sections of the media.”
No official reports have been made about the matter by either team or the umpires and it’s therefore not expected to become the subject of a judiciary hearing.
Warner and axed Test captain Steve Smith are spending the season playing for their Sydney grade clubs after 12-month bans for their roles in March’s sandpaper ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test.
Media outlets have claimed Hughes called Warner a “disgrace” but it’s understood more may have been said.
However, neither Warner or the two umpires are believed to have heard Phillip Hughes referenced in the comments.
Warner was close friends with the former Australian batsman, who died after being struck while batting for South Australia against NSW in a Sheffield Shield match in 2014.
Candice Warner’s comments came just a day before Cricket Australia is to release its findings from reviews conducted in the wake of the ball-tampering fiasco, of which Warner was painted as the main villain.
The aggressive opening batsman was banned from all leadership positions for the rest of his career, and is suspended from playing for Australia, NSW or in the Big Bash
CA board member and Test captain Mark Taylor said the game needed to move on from the ugly chapter.
“Sooner or later everyone in cricket has to get over it,” he told the Nine Network’s Sports Sunday.
“We have to move on. It is a terrific game, but I can’t get over how many people are talking it down at the moment and, gee!, it really worries me.
“People have to start getting over themselves, their own little agendas they might have in the game and start thinking about what’s good for the game.”