Shane Warne has had something of a nightmare week and a bit. First a charge for speeding in his Jaguar over in the United Kingdom, and last night a massive verbal stoush at West Indian and Melbourne Renegade batsman Marlon Samuels in the Big Bash League. He even let rip a few expletives that were caught by the mic he was wearing for Fox Sports.
We all love a little bit of banter and a bit of heat out on the cricket field, but the altercation last night, which in fact flared while the Melbourne Stars batted, went too far.
Warne copped a one match suspension and $4,500 fine today. In my opinion fair given the timing and it’s close to the Big Bash finals. However, it almost feels as though it has slipped by a bit. People on Twitter today have been almost crying for more blood and a heftier suspension. And on the incident where Samuels top edged the bouncer and sustained a damaged eye socket (it was a Malinga bouncer into his helmet a few overs after the firey barbs were delivered) which sent Samuels back into the sheds, it has zero to do with Warne. He was simply unclucky.
It does, however, raise a crucial question: where is the line that is drawn across this sort of behaviour? It’s ugly to watch and can seriously denigrate the image of the game. I’m not about to suggest radically changing things overnight; it is a job that needs meticulous research to stamp out this sort of attitude. The question is when it will be.
The incident is somewhat over and done with. In my thoughts I’m disappointed with the way Warne acted and almost overreacted. Sure, Samuels barring David Hussey from getting a second run when the Melbourne Stars batted wasn’t exactly nice, but the way in which Warne and Samuels went head to head made me lose a bit of interest for the rest of the match.
So, what is it to be: do we let this just slip by, now charges have been laid, or do we use this as an example of ‘how not to speak on-field at the cricket?’
Warne will be 44 when the next Big Bash League comes around later this year. Is this the end?