Tim Paine hits back at Ben Stokes for remarks on David Warner's sledging during Ashes 2019
Australian captain Tim Paine has hit back at English all-rounder Ben Stokes after the latter wrote about David Warner's sledging during this year's Ashes. In his soon-to-be-released autobiography On Fire, Stokes mentioned how Warner's excessive sledging spurred him on to score an incredible ton in the third game at Leeds that the hosts won by just a wicket.
Chasing a mammoth target of 359, the last wicket pair of Jack Leach and Stokes survived some nervy moments in their 76-run stand but eventually sealed a miracle win. Stokes has now revealed that it was Warner's non-stop chirping that motivated him to bat longer and help his team over the line.
"He just wouldn't shut up for most of my time out there," writes Stokes. "I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps. A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy but, in particular, David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.
"I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though.
"The changed man he was adamant he'd become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed 'Humble' by his Australia team-mates, had disappeared. Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get 'the bull' back?
"Although he'd enjoyed a prolific World Cup campaign, he had struggled with the bat at the start of the Ashes and was perhaps turning to his old ways to try to get the best out of himself. The nice guy act had done nothing for his runs column.
"The more time passed, the more it spurred me on. All kinds of ideas of what I might say to him at the end of the game went through my head," said Stokes who made 135 runs in 219 balls in the game.
However, Paine disagrees with Stokes and accused the Englishman of using Warner's name in his book to spike an increase in sales of the autobiography.
“I was obviously standing next to David the whole time (in the slips) and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field,” Paine said.
“But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him."
“It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey’s name to spike book sales. So good luck to them.”
“I had absolutely no issue with the way David handled himself during the Ashes, he was excellent,” Paine said.
“Particularly given the fact he wasn’t scoring a hell of a lot of runs and I’m pretty sure he was on the end of a fair bit (of abuse) himself on and off the field in England."
Warner, who was playing his first Test series after being banned for a year for ball-tampering against South Africa last year, had a tough time in England as he and Steven Smith were constantly booed by the spectators every time they walked out on the field.
The Aussies reclaimed the Ashes after the series ended in a 2-2 draw.
Published 18 Nov 2019, 15:22 IST