Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has burned David Warner over his century celebration in a grade cricket match.
Returning to club cricket over the weekend, Warner held none of his emotion back celebrating his first century since being suspended from Australian cricket following the ball-tampering scandal.
Warner celebrated his club cricket century at Coogee Oval with trademark leap and a wave of his bat to wife Candice and their daughters.
It was clearly a relieving ton for Warner, but his former international cricket rival McCullum wasn’t overly impressed, with the century or the celebration.
— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) September 23, 2018
“Geez Davey! This celebration is the equivalent of Sir Ed Hillary giving it large climbing his front steps, post Everest! Hahaha,” McCullum wrote.
Clearly McCullum didn’t rate Warner’s opposition on the day, St George, too highly.
Although leading their pace attack was Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood and Sheffield Shield mainstay Trent Copeland.
Unlike McCullum, Hazlewood thought the banned Aussie’s century was “special”.
“(Warner) played really well. He’s very good in those situations … a pretty special knock,” said Hazlewood, who expects to return to NSW duty in the one-day cup on October 1.
Asked if he exchanged any banter with Warner, Hazlewood said: “It was pretty quiet. He was just going about his business and knuckled right down and got the result, which is what he was after.”
Warner finished on 155 not out off 152 balls – striking 13 fours and a couple of sixes – as Randwick-Petersham reached St George’s target of 278 on the last ball of the innings.
Warner’s innings was watched by a healthy crowd, some of whom weren’t so sure about a celebration that, even in Test cricket, has always rubbed some fans the wrong way.
A video sent via Snapchat was uploaded to Twitter with the captions ‘is this bloke serious?’ and ‘someone tell this bloke it’s park cricket’.
Other fans described Warner as a ‘flog’ and questioned what the opposition thought of his leap.
The batsman copped the brunt of the criticism following Australia’s ball-tampering scandal after Cricket Australia found the opening batsman was responsible for hatching the plan and enlisting Cameron Bancroft to use the sandpaper.
Like Smith, Warner won’t be eligible to play international cricket again until early next year.
“He’s obviously a very good player. It’s about putting in place a culture that can fit him back in and hopefully he plays his best cricket when he does come back,” Hazlewood said.
“It’s still a long way away. He’s got some batters in there that he has to push out that are doing well so we’ll see when the time comes.”
Smith, meanwhile, received a warm welcome from an unusually large crowd at the Glenn McGrath Oval and looked his usual twitchy self at the crease as he rattled off a half century in 62 balls.
The 29-year-old made his return the week after getting married to long-time partner Dani.
Still the No.2 Test batsman in the ICC rankings, Smith took his tally to 85, including six fours and a six, before holing out to mid-on and receiving another ovation as he trudged back to the pavilion.
Smith was dropped early in his 92-ball innings but tallied six fours and a six. Like Warner, he top-scored for his club.
“He batted nicely. You could see he was very much in the zone,” said Smith’s former international teammate Shane Watson.
“He was always going to come out and do well. He’s obviously got plenty of desire inside him.”
Smith and Warner, who didn’t speak to the media after their matches, were greeted with warm applause when going out to bat.
“The support that he has got today will just reassure (Smith) that everything is OK,” said Watson, who couldn’t play alongside Smith due to injury.
“People do make mistakes and then people do forgive and certainly forgive very quickly.”