New target in Warner sledging storm
AUSSIE cricket great Ian Healy has identified comatose umpiring failures as the real culpable party at the centre of the David Warner sledging scandal.
The former test wicketkeeper says Warner's controversial decision to walk off the field during a Sydney grade match on Saturday reflects a much wider issue for the game around the diminished role of on-field umpires.
The drama surrounding Warner's walk off while batting for Randwick-Petersham against Western Suburbs over the weekend has continued to twist in recent days with Warner's wife Candice first suggesting her husband left the field early in his innings at Pratten Park to defuse a situation he was concerned could turn uglier.
Western Suburbs then released a statement to claim the exchange between Warner and Jason Hughes - the brother of Phillip Hughes - was not abusive and did not involve any mention of the late Australian cricketer.
The exchange has since made national news, but the umpires took no action during the heated match and no formal complaints were made by either club.
Healy has called on on-field umpires to take more control of matches and to take action when sledging crosses the line.
Healy's highlighting of the umpire's actions during Warner's grade cricket innings follows widespread calls for umpires to take action against on-field sledging.
South African coach Ottis Gibson was one of several commentators to call for the on-field umpires to roll up their sleeves and address the heated exchanges that occurred during the Second Test of Australia's fateful tour of South Africa in March - after Warner and Quinton de Kock famously almost came to blows during an ugly altercation in the stairwell in Kingsmead.
Healy says Warner's latest incident shows immediate action from umpires is needed.
He also suggested the lack of action from on-field umpires has put senior cricket officials in the difficult position of needing to come in over the top to take any action against sledging cases.
"I don't know what was said, the club who did it has denied what was said was done," Healy told hit105's Stav, Abby and Matt on Friday morning.
"So that's a discrepancy that you should get to the bottom of. David Warner shouldn't have walked off, unless he was going to retire from batting and then come back in when the next wicket falls. That was an interesting one. The umpires might not have done their job again. I think a lot of this stems from the umpires not really doing their job. The Australian cricket board has been reviewed badly, but how can they step in when the on-field umpires aren't pulling the players up? They didn't even know the problem was as bad as what it was."
Warner went on to score 157 after returning to the crease.
No official reports have been made about the weekend incident from either team or the umpires and it's therefore not expected to become the subject of a judiciary hearing.
Healy, meanwhile, has also declared former teammate Mark Taylor could be a victim of his close links with former Cricket Australia chairman David Peever.
Taylor, who is Cricket Australia's longest serving current board member, has been identified by Aussie cricket commentators as an ideal candidate to replace Peever after deputy Earl Eddings, a former Cricket Australia director, was appointed interim chairman on Thursday.
Healy told Fox Sports News Taylor's chairmanship credentials will forever be clouded by the cultural failings identified in the Longstaff Review which occured under Taylor and Peever's watch.
"Mark Taylor would be a very good chairman, but again they've gone from internally with Kevin Roberts as CEO appointment to replace James Sutherland," Healy said.
"I just think he might be a victim, Tubby, in that anyone who presided over that culture when the Longstaff review was handed down, how can we make them chairman?"
CA chairman Peever was one week into a second three-year term when he accepted it was time to go, prompted by a phone call from Cricket NSW chairman John Knox that was made in light of Monday's scathing independent review.
Taylor, who has served as a conduit between administrators and players for almost 15 years, has reportedly already dismissed any claim on the chairmanship despite pleas from former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed and former CA chairman Bob Merriman.
- with AAP