SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian batsman David Warner has admitted he is devastated by the idea that his off-field behaviour may have played a part in the sacking of national coach Mickey Arthur.
Arthur was sensationally ditched just days out from the first Ashes Test, apparently paying the price for a 4-0 Test series loss in India, a poor Champions Trophy campaign and a lack of player discipline.
This last was highlighted by an incident in which Warner punched England's Joe Root in a Birmingham bar following a Champions Trophy defeat.
"It was probably another thing that was gutting, that I may have played a part in that," Warner said on Monday.
Warner served a ban for the incident but without having played in any warm-up matches was left out of the Australia side which played the first Ashes Test and lost to England. He will now play with Australia A in Zimbabwe and South Africa to gain match practice.
Speaking on the eve of his departure from London, Warner, 26, spoke of his devastation at not being selected to play the first Ashes Test, saying he "kind of broke down" when he told his mum.
"(It's) massive to miss a Test. As a kid growing up, you want to play in the Ashes and after that incident I went back to my room and I was pretty shattered for a week and a half, two weeks. I still feel the guilt of what happened. I feel myself it's led to me being in this situation at the moment," he said.
"Things would have been different, I would have been able to play those warm-up games and I could have pressed my claims to play in that first Test but that's me. I put my hand up and accepted the consequences and now it's about me trying to put as many runs on the board in these next two games (in Harare and Pretoria) and press forward."
Warner said new coach Darren Lehmann had told him to "go out there and score runs and be myself". "Just get that X factor back that I can have for this team."
He said there were no bans or curfews imposed on him, but he was well aware of the consequences of any further misbehaviour.
"I know if I stuff up again I'm on the first plane home," he said. "No one needs to tell you that because you already know it."