x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Joe Root and Shane Watson want to move on after David Warner fiasco

Australia all-rounder denies putting pressure on the touring party's management to punish his teammate for punching England batsman.

Australia's David Warner practises during a warm-up period before the start of Day 4's play yesterday in a tour match against Somerset in Taunton, England. Australia won the game by six wickets. Matthew Horwood / Getty Images
Australia's David Warner practises during a warm-up period before the start of Day 4's play yesterday in a tour match against Somerset in Taunton, England. Australia won the game by six wickets. Matthew Horwood / Getty Images

England batsman Joe Root is determined to put the controversial attack he suffered at the hands of Australia's David Warner behind him as he prepares for his first Ashes series.

It is nearly three weeks since Root took a glancing blow from Warner in a Birmingham bar after the Australia opener was apparently angered by the sight of the Yorkshire batsman wearing a green and gold wig following England's victory over arch-rivals Australia in the Champions Trophy.

Warner was subsequently suspended by Cricket Australia until the start of the first Ashes Test in Nottingham on July 10 while the 22-year-old Root was exonerated of all blame by the England and Wales Cricket Board for what they deemed an "unprovoked attack".

"It's all done now. I hope we can move on," Root said ahead of England's Ashes four-day warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford, starting today.

"David Warner has apologised; I've accepted it. As far as I'm concerned, that's all behind us.

"I'm just trying to get my head around tomorrow, and take it step by step."

However, Root was in no mood to downplay the importance of the Ashes.

"It's what I always dreamt of, growing up," he said. "That's what you want to play in - those big occasions."

Also clarifying his stand was Australia all-rounder Shane Watson who, according to media reports, allegedly put pressure on the team management to bring on the sanctions against Warner.

The fallout from the saga then took a shocking turn when coach Mickey Arthur was sacked last week, just 16 days ahead of the Ashes series.

Following Warner's suspension, there were reports that officials had only decided to discipline Warner after Watson had complained about double standards.

Watson was one of four players dropped from the Test side during a 4-0 series loss in India earlier this year for failing to hand in a written feedback requested by team management.

Watson told a sports website on Friday that Arthur's actions in India had set a "dangerous precedent" and lauded new coach Darren Lehmann.

But he insisted he had not done anything to make officials suspend Warner.

"Absolutely not," Watson said when asked if he had informed Arthur of events in the bar incident. "In the end, the coaching staff and Mickey and the leadership group found out about Dave's incident off their own bat."

"It had absolutely nothing to do with me in any way shape or form and I'm not sure why that was brought out in the media because it certainly wasn't the truth ... it certainly had nothing to do with me."

Watson did concede that Lehmann was more preferred to him than Arthur.

Watson has been told by the former Australia batsman Lehmann he will be one of Australia's openers in the Ashes and scored 90 in the six-wicket tour match win against Somerset.

"The way Darren operates is a more light-hearted way [than Arthur]," Watson said.

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