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Warne deserved ban, says Langer

By Kim Hagdorn
10 January 2013 10:14AM EST

CRICKET legend Shane Warne deserved a match ban for his ugly on-field spat with Marlon Samuels, according to Australian Test great Justin Langer.

Warne's long-time Test teammate declared that world cricket's greatest ever leg-spinner over stepped the line in his vicious verbal attack and to grab the West Indies all-rounder by his jumper.

A forthright Langer claimed that cricket remains a "non contact sport" and that manhandling an opponent is strictly taboo.

Warne was suspended for his team Melbourne Stars final qualifying Big Bash match and fined a total of $4500 for his obscene and threatening language to Samuels and pulling at his jumper at the MCG.

Samuels is yet to face a tribunal hearing on two charges of bringing the game into disrepute for throwing his bat at Warne as their confrontation raged on international pay television and a 46,000 MCG crowd.

Langer even queried Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland for his support of Warne's behaviour.

"You might think I'm a wuss, I dont' think I'm one of those, but it's a non-contact sport," said Langer on Fairfax radio 6PR.

"I just thought it was ugly and we're talking about this being Australia's favourite sport.

"I think James Sutherland said it was good for the competiton of the rivalry between them.

"But I thought it was pretty ugly display really."

Langer, who played Tests with Warne consistently from around the 2001 Ashes until the pair retired in the same match in Sydney six years ago, defended Warne's fiercely competitive nature.

"One of his greatest strengths and I'm not sure if I have played with a more competitive animal and I don't mean animal in a bad way, his competitive instincts are what have made him a great player," Langer elaborated of the champion spinner and legend.

"You'd never want to be on the wrong side of him.

"But as he said, he stepped over the line and he copped the one match ban and fine as he should have.

"He did step over the line." 

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Shane Donoghue 10 January 2013 11:48AM

Pretty sure Justin Langer was one of the biggest smack talkers going round. Remember the West Indians? Typical short mans syndrome who now, as a coach, has joined the politically correct army of muppets. How we forget so quickly.