Ian Chappell feels Smith, Lehman culpable in Warner-de Kock episode

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Ian Chappell feels Smith, Lehman culpable in Warner-de Kock episode

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SportsCafe Desk


Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels that David Warner is being allowed to do what he does by higher authorities. He felt that a suspension would be appropriate for the Australian opening batsman and reiterated that there need to be stricter rules and there is no need for abuse.

Over the last few days, the cricketing world has been debating over the ugly Warner-de Kock spat that took place on the fourth day of the first Test in Durban. CCTV footage, published by South African outlet Independent Media, showed Warner and de Kock engaging in a verbal battle as players made their way to the dressing rooms at tea. 

David Warner had to be restrained by teammate Usman Khawaja and then dragged away by captain Steve Smith after he did not relent on his barbs at Quinton de Kock. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, and other members of the team became involved before Warner was forced to move away. While Warner was charged with a Level 2 offence, de Kock has been charged with the less severe one of Level 1. 

In a new twist, former Australian skipper and commentator Ian Chappell reckons that skipper Steve Smith and coach Darren Lehmann should be held responsible for Warner’s behaviour on the field. He thinks that Warner is being allowed to behave in that way because of the people above him. 

“A suspension would be appropriate because you need to stamp it out from the top down. But Warner gets the suspension, and while he's responsible for his own actions and words, he's being allowed to do it by people above him,” Chappell told Channel Nine.

He wanted the higher authorities (like the captain and the coach) to also face punishment. He justified by saying that the laws of the game state that the captain on the field is responsible for the actions of his players on the field. 

“I'd like to see those above him suspended for sanctioning it. If you start taking strong action like that then you'll get some sanity. It's always the same - the players pay the penalty for the stupidity of those above. Warner is being encouraged to be the attack dog. The laws of the game state the captain is responsible for the on-field actions of his players, so if Steve Smith is not stepping in he's just as culpable,” Chappell added. 

Chappell said that the administrators need to act wisely and prevent on-field alterations and violence. He thought that the officials need to talk to the players, captain and coach before the game if they feel something is wrong. He also wants strict action to be taken against players who don’t abide by the officials’’ word. 

“It's pretty obvious to me that the more you allow to be said on the field, the higher the chance that something personal will be said, and if it gets personal, you've got a situation on your hands. 

“How stupid is it, when I read before the Test that the Australians might bait Kagiso Rabada because he's close to being suspended? Surely if you're the officials and you see that, you call the coach and captain in the day before the game and explain it won't be tolerated, and the first bloke who puts a foot out of line will be suspended,” the 74-year old said. 

Chappell also clarified that he doesn’t want the sportsmanship of the game to be affected as it is a very important part of the game. But he reiterated the fact that there is no need for pointless conversations and abuse between players. 

“I wouldn't be trying to stop gamesmanship because that's an important part of the game of cricket, and it's responsible for a lot of the humour in the game. But the inane chatter, abuse and comments trying to unsettle players, you don't need it. Are you saying you don't have enough faith in your bowlers to take 20 wickets?” the former skipper concluded. 

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