Cricket - Clarke confident over Ashes focus

Michael Clarke insists Australia's Ashes preparations will not be disrupted by the David Warner's drink-fuelled night which ended with him punching Joe Root.

PA Sport
Ashes - Warner issues statement after brother launches foul-mouthed attack
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Michael Clarke, left, hopes David Warner, right, will learn from his mistakes

Warner issued a grovelling apology for punching Root in a Walkabout in central Birmingham in the early hours of Sunday morning. The Australian batsman has been fined almost £7,000 for his antics and he has also been suspended until the first Ashes Test on July 10 at Trent Bridge.

Australia captain Clarke said: "I don't think any Australian team needs something like this to bring it together before an Ashes series. We are very focused on this Champions Trophy right now. We want to have success in this tournament. We have got a game in a few days which we will be preparing for tomorrow and then we will be 100 per cent ready for the Ashes. There is no doubt about it."

Warner on Thursday fronted up to the media for the first time since he punched Root. In front of a packed conference room at a hotel in central London, Warner, sat alongside a clearly annoyed Clarke, said: "I struck Joe Root in the face, I'm here today to put my hand up and apologise publicly to Joe.

"I am responsible for my actions, extremely remorseful. I have let not just my team-mates down, but the Cricket Australia fans, the support staff, myself, my family, I'm sincerely apologetic.

"I won't deny I'd had a couple of drinks. I did what I did and it's totally out of line. I'm extremely apologetic, it shouldn't have happened.

"That night wasn't a good time to go out and have a beer, we'd lost the game, and even though we'd had a day off we'd still lost. We don't have curfews, but looking back I shouldn't have been in that situation."

Just three weeks ago Warner was fined £4,000 for a Twitter tirade against journalists and Clarke also took disciplinary action against four team-mates in March for failing to complete a team presentation.

Despite yet another breach of discipline from Warner, Clarke is confident that the player will not transgress again.

"He will learn from this. It will make him a better person," Clarke said. "It will make him a better player and I have the confidence in David that we will not be sitting here having this conversation again."

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