Warner in hot water again
Australia batsman David Warner has been handed a one-match suspended sentence from Cricket New South Wales after missing a grade match to go to the races.
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Warner was scheduled to line up for Randwick Petersham on the second day of their two-day match against Northern Districts, but instead spent the day at Royal Randwick racecourse for Epsom Day.
All New South Wales players are required to play for their grade clubs when available and fully fit.
The sanction continues a miserable year for Warner who found himself embroiled in controversy on Australia's summer tour of England.
The 26-year-old was suspended from Australia's two tour matches that preceded The Ashes series, as well as a Champions Trophy clash, for punching English batsman Joe Root in a nightclub incident.
The suspension deprived Warner of any chance of getting much-needed batting practice ahead of The Ashes which led to him also sitting out the first two Tests against England.
And when Warner finally won his spot back, he could only manage 138 runs at an average of 23 in the final three Ashes battles.
Warner's woes didn't stop there, though, as the 26-year-old was dropped from Australia's one-day squad for the five-match series against England in September.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann cited Warner's lack of form in the 50-over arena as the reason for his omission and Lehmann urged the fiery opener to head back to state level and make enough runs to be considered again.
But Warner's ambitions for a recall have hit a serious snag with scores of only four and zero next to his name from his first two outings with the Blues in the Ryobi Cup so far.
New South Wales Cricket chief executive Andrew Jones told www.cricketnsw.com.au: "This has been an unfortunate episode.
"Like most cricket fans, I and all at Cricket NSW would like nothing more than to see David Warner achieve his potential on and off the field.
"However, in order to do this David needs to ensure that he is doing the right things and working closely with the organisation in all areas.
"We believe the suspended sentence demonstrates our good faith and gives David the opportunity to prove his commitment to NSW's fans and stakeholders, including the Grade clubs.
"We are hopeful that this is the last incident of this nature so that David and Cricket NSW can focus solely on cricket for the remainder of the season."
Warner will play the next two Saturdays of Grade cricket for Randwick-Petersham, and the third Saturday if Ryobi Cup commitments permit.
Warner said: "I believed I was doing the right thing by focusing on my training and batting, but in hindsight I should have played.
"I remain determined to score runs for NSW and Australia and am also looking forward to taking the field for Randy-Petes this round. "