1. ITV Report

David Warner defends 'speak English' order to Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma

Flashpoint: Warner exchanges words with Rohit. Photo: Reuters

David Warner has defended himself after ordering Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma to speak English during a row.

Warner was involved in a number of flashpoints during a tense Test series between Austrialia and India in the Carlton Mid Tri-Series in Melbourne.

Several Australian fielders appeared to take issue when Rohit claimed an overthrow single they felt he should not have attempted, as they felt the ball had deflected off him.

Warner exchanged angry words with Rohit and, after the batsman replied in Hindi, demanded he speak English.

The incident caused controversy in some quarters, as well as costing Warner 50 per cent of his match fee.

But he insists his comments were rational and suggested he would repeat them in similar circumstances.

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.

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

I thought I was okay by asking him to speak English and I am going to say it a couple of times if he keeps saying it in Hindi.

If people get on the wrong side of me, I'm not going to back down.

– David Warner speaking to Sky Sports radio
The umpires were forced to intervene. Credit: Reuters

Australia coach Darren Lehmann, having not been in the middle at the key moment, offered a more circumspect take on things and deferred any further punishments to the ICC.

"David's an aggressive character and we support that, it's just making sure he does the right things on the ground," said Lehmann.

"He knows that more than most. We'll work with him with that.

"We've just got to be mindful of the game of cricket, it's an important entertainment spectacle for people around the world. We've got to make sure we play hard but fair, and don't cross the line.

"If the ICC decide it's not in the spirit of the game or we cross the line, they'll come down on us, we all know that.

"We're always going to teeter pretty close to it, that's the way we play, but we've got to make sure we don't cross it."