Remorseful Warner apologises

Australia batsman David Warner issued an apology on Thursday for getting involved in a late night bar-room fracas with young England player Joe Root.

"It's true I struck Joe in the face and I'm here today (Thursday) to put my hand up and apologise publicly to Joe and to own up to my actions," Warner told a news conference. "I'm extremely remorseful.’’

"I've let down my team-mates, the Cricket Australia fans, our support staff, myself, my family and I'm extremely apologetic," he added, without explaining how the incident started.

Earlier on Thursday, the batsman was suspended until the first Ashes Test on July 10 and fined 11,500 Australian dollars ($10,900) for his part in the incident which occurred in the early hours of Sunday in Birmingham after Australia's Champions Trophy defeat by England.

"I won't deny that I had a couple of drinks but it is no excuse for what I did," Warner said at the news conference in London, where team captain Michael Clarke sat beside him.
"It was totally out of line, I've sent a text message to Joe, he's accepted my apology and I'm eternally grateful for that.’’

"I don't have a drinking problem...but looking back I should not have been in that situation. It's up to me now to be accountable for my actions and to make sure I don't get involved in something like this ever again,’’ he added.

British media reported that the "unprovoked physical attack", in the words of the England and Wales Cricket Board, was triggered by Root wearing a fancy dress wig in Australia's green-and-gold colours as a beard.

Warner is alleged to have tried to grab the beard and then swung a punch before other players intervened.

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