Joe Root has been completely exonerated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after he was apparently the victim of an unprovoked attack by Australian batsman David Warner.
The incident took place in a bar where players from both sides had gone after England’s win over Australia on Saturday.
The ECB said in a statement: “We confirm that David Warner initiated an unprovoked, physical attack on a member of the England team in a Birmingham bar. Warner has admitted behaving inappropriately and has since apologised to the player involved who has accepted the apology.”
It went on: “Following a full investigation, the England team management concluded that the England player was in no way responsible for, nor retaliated to, the attack.”
Cricket Australia had previously issued a statement that Warner, 26, had been charged with breaching Rule 6 of Cricket Australia’s Code of Behaviour, relating to ‘unbecoming behaviour’.
He was stood down from yesterday’s Champions Trophy game against New Zealand and his place on the forthcoming Ashes tour was now in serious doubt.
John Creighton, manager of the Walkabout bar in Birmingham, said: “David Warner and Joe Root were in our VIP area between 1.30am and 2.30am on Sunday morning along with several other England and Australia team members. None of the group seemed to have been drinking to excess and just seemed to be having a good time.
“There was a small altercation between Warner and Root which was dealt with very amicably and quickly by the rest of the group, and both were calmly chatting again immediately afterwards.”
England captain Alastair Cook said the players were fully within their rights to be out in the early hours “when the schedule allows and within team parameters,” adding that they weren’t training for a couple of days.