After Ben Stokes’ recent comments on David Warner accusing him of being ‘chirpy’ and intent on ‘disturbing him’ during the Headingley Test, Australian skipper Paine has come out in support of Warner.
“I was standing next to David Warner the whole time and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field,” Paine said. “But by no means was he abusing him or sledding him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey’s name to spike book sales. So good luck to them.”
Ben Stokes went on to play an all-time-great inning of 135 not out in the third Test at Headingley, taking England to a victory that kept the Ashes alive for them. In his new book ‘On Fire’, Stokes talked about his ‘personal motivation’ behind that famous innings.
“I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps,” Stokes writes in his book. “A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular, David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.
“He just wouldn’t shut up for most of my time out there. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though. The changed man he was adamant he’d become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed ‘Humble’ by his Australia teammates, had disappeared. Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back?
“I muttered ‘Bloody Warner’ a few times as I was getting changed.
The more time passed, the more it spurred me on.”
But Paine, who was behind the stumps, has stressed on how Warner, without runs during all of the Ashes summer, didn’t say a thing that would have brought him or Australia’s rehashed on-field attitude to disrepute.
“I was standing right next to him, I had absolutely no issue,” Paine said. “The way David Warner handled himself during the Ashes was excellent. Particularly given the fact he wasn’t scoring a hell of a lot of runs and I’m pretty sure he was on the end of a fair bit himself on and off the field in England. So I thought he did a great job of handling that and held himself well throughout the series. They write books to sell and they have to get headlines to get sales.
“We’re going to concentrate on what we do and maintain our standards. What Ben and England want to do is completely up to them.”
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