Peculiar Warner moment sparks sportsmanship debate

A peculiar moment in Australia’s T20 World Cup semi-final win against Pakistan involving opener David Warner has sparked a sportsmanship debate.

Warner, who compiled an important 49 to kick-start the run-chase on Friday morning, clobbered a six off a ball that bounced twice from off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez in the eighth over.

The delivery was correctly ruled a no-ball under the laws of the game, constituting an extra run and a valuable free-hit on the next ball.

While many on Twitter saw the funny side of the incident and commentator Mark Nicholas marvelled at Warner’s power, former Indian cricket Gautam Gambhir took aim at the batter.

Despite Warner not breaching any rules, Gambhir tweeted: “What an absolutely pathetic display of spirit of the game by Warner! #Shameful.”

Some have suggested Gambhir’s comments were somewhat tongue-in-cheek given he tagged Indian star Ravi Ashwin, who was lambasted by Australian legend Shane Warne in September for taking a run in the IPL after a fielder’s throw ricocheted off his batting partner.

Warne has also been extremely critical of Ashwin in the past for effecting mankad dismissals, a frowned upon but legal act that one social media user compared to Warner’s conduct.

There were many in Warner’s corner, too, with one fan replying to Gambhir: “What’s the problem here? Warner did what a player needs to do to win games … That’s it!”

Gambhir may have considered it karma when Warner was controversially given out caught behind off leg-spinner Shadab Khan, ending his 30-ball knock.

Replays showed a clear gap between bat and ball, but despite having a review available, Warner trudged off just short of his half-century.

Fortunately for the 35-year-old, Marcus Stoinis (40* off 31 balls) and the big-hitting Matthew Wade (41* off 17 balls) helped Australia chase down Pakistan’s 176 with an over in hand.

The Aussies will face New Zealand in the final on Monday morning AEDT.

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