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Australian batsman denies racially taunting Indian opponent after telling him to 'speak English'

It’s not the first time David Warner has been embroiled in controversy.

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EXPLOISVE AUSTRALIAN OPENER David Warner has defended a heated on-field exchange with Indian batsman Rohit Sharma in which he demanded him “to speak English”.

Warner said the verbal fireworks at the One-Day International in Melbourne on Sunday and was fined 50 percent of his match fee from the International Cricket Council.

The Australian fielders had taken offence when the Indians went for a single off an overthrow which they wrongly believed was in breach of cricket etiquette.

“When I went over to say something to him, he sort of said something in their language and I said ‘speak English’ because, if you’re going to say something for me to understand, theoretically I cannot speak Hindi,” Warner told Sky Sports.

“So I did the polite thing and asked him to speak English, therefore he did and I can’t repeat what he said.”

Asked whether there was anything wrong in the manner in which he asked the question, Warner said: “I thought I was OK by asking him to speak English and I am going to say it a couple of times if he keeps saying it in Hindi.”

Warner admitted he should not have confronted Sharma but said the pair had been engaging in “friendly banter” during the match, which Australia won with six balls to spare despite a century by Sharma, and he didn’t feel the need to apologise.

“No, because we were actually going at each other anyway during the game,” he said.

During the summer’s Test series against India, which saw tense sledging, Warner said he would not be toning down his “banter” and he repeated that stance Monday.

“If people get on the wrong side of me, I’m not going to back down,” he said.

© – AFP 2015

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