Much has already been written about the events which took place in a Birmingham pub during the early hours of last Sunday morning. David Warner has been chastised and suspended from the Australian team; Joe Root has accepted his assailant’s contrite apology.
But we believe there are still some vital questions from this affair yet to be fully answered.
What were they all doing in the Walkabout?
Today’s international cricketer generally cuts a more glamorous and discerning figure than his forebears, yet – at some point during that fateful evening – not one but both sets of players asked themselves the question “which establishment will offer us exactly the kind of atmosphere and entertainment we seek?”, and each came up with exactly the same answer: The Walkabout.
Serious questions must now be asked, especially of the English players, about their taste in late-night revelry. Clearly, their proclivities are for venues with exceptionally sticky floors, and largely frequented by drunken South Africans, which focus their drinks range on Snakebite and black, and afford opportunities to sing along to ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’, while standing on a table. And we thought things had moved on .
How did Joe Root get served?
No bouncer who values his job would surely have admitted the baby-faced Yorkshire tyro into the premises in the first place. How he actually managed to buy a round of drinks remains a mystery, unless Root carries his birth certificate around at all times
Based on his appearance alone, a self- respecting bar tender would have been more likely to offer Root a glass of milk and sat him down with a Spongebob Squarepants DVD than poured him another plastic tumbler of lager and cider.
Whose idea were the wigs?
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the whole business is the precise sequence of events by which the England players acquired and then donned a selection of comedy wigs. According to some reports, there may also have been false beards involved.
Is this now standard practice among the squad? Are wigs now worn on all nights out by the team? Or does Joe Root simply wear one wherever he goes?
Alternatively, the truth might be that Root and Broad reserve the hairpieces for specific occasions – such as ODI wins over Australia at a midlands ground – and other scenarios involve different code of comic fancy dress. A test match victory at, say, Leeds, might necessitate a Groucho Marx-style glasses, nose and moustache combo; while a T20 triumph over Sri Lanka mandates the wearing of joke glasses with the eyeballs coming out on springs.
You can only wonder, too, exactly how the players came by the wigs in the first place. Are they a permanent fixture in the England squad kit bags? If not, one can only assume that at some point that evening the following events took place:
– It occurred to one of the players that it would be a really good idea to obtain comedy wigs to wear at the Walkabout.
– The player said this out loud.
– The others all thought it was a good idea too.
– They then hailed a cab and asked to be taken to Birmingham’s nearest late-night fancy dress shop.
What exactly riled David Warner?
If you look at all the facts in the public domain, only one plausible conclusion is possible: David Warner was incited to violence by the sight of comedy wigs (allowing also for the possibility of comedy beards).
But what exactly was it about the wigs which so incensed the volatile Australian batsman? Was it the colour, the style, or the degree of curliness? Or instead, is Warner in fact a great admirer of comedy wigs, and thought that Root’s impudent approach to his own wig disrespected this great tradition?
Another theory is that Warner has undergone a terrible trauma in the past, which involved either comedy wigs or hairpieces. Was he somehow attacked by one as a child? Or perhaps the beloved grandmother habitually wore a comic fake beard, and she has only recently passed away.
As you’ll agree, these are vital questions which demand further inquiry, and full public disclosure. We ought to be told.