The Ashes 2013: 'David Warner ban might galvanise Australia'
The fallout from David Warner's suspension might just galvanise Australia for the Ashes, says Scyld Berry.
Last Updated: 16/06/13 12:13pm
Earlier this week Warner, 26, was fined and suspended until the opening Ashes Test following an alleged attack on England's Joe Root in a bar.
However Berry, of The Sunday Telegraph, told Cricket Writers on TV that the punishment might just bring the best out of Australia's Twenty20 skipper in the five-day game.
"It's just possible that Warner - highly motivated - does play in the series but not as an opener, coming in at number six," he commented, ahead of the first Test which begins on July 10.
"He could do some real damage in that position - Adam Gilchrist-like. It might just pan out for Australia."
The Warner affair comes three months after four Australia players were dropped for a Test in India after they failed to comply with a request from coach Mickey Arthur for suggestions on how the team could improve.
The group included Shane Watson, who Australia's Channel Nine suggested was unhappy that Warner would be eligible to play in the first Ashes Test, although Arthur has since indicated that Watson has "no massive view" on Warner's punishment.
Berry believes that the controversy is both helpful to England's cause and an indication that there is a change of culture within English cricket.
"It's a useful first blow in the propaganda war for England that Warner landed the first punch of the campaign and England have been able to make the most of it," he reflected.
"A week on from the incident, it's quite interesting to look at how the administrators of Australian cricket are trying to change its culture and drawing these lines in the sand, saying 'there is behaviour that is unacceptable and if you do what the lads of the past used to do, you are going to pay for it'.
"It was interesting that George Bailey described it as a 'minor incident'. I don't think he was in the Walkabout bar but that is the view of the Australian cricketer through the ages - that a bit of fisticuffs is a minor incident.
"But now the culture of Australian cricket is changing and an important person in that is the chairman of selectors, John Inverarity. They are trying to make the Australian players into better people by phasing out the old larrikin culture.
"It's going to be fascinating to see if this process works as Australia try to get back to being the World Champions that they used to be."
Simon Wilde, of the Sunday Times, agreed that Cricket Australia's philosophy does seem to be changing.
"Back in the 90s when Warne and Mark Waugh were found to have taken money from a bookmaker, the Australian board fined them privately and allowed them to stay on a tour of the West Indies because they wanted to win - which they did.
"Now you've got an Australian management team that is going the other way and publicly shaming and humiliating their players for what is, I think, a relatively minor misdemeanour.
"That was a very serious matter in the 90s. When Warne had his drugs ban it was for one year, when the recommended ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency was two years.
"They used to bend over backwards to help the players but now I think they're going the other way."