How David Warner's sledges sparked England's Ashes miracle

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

David Warner was supposed to have turned over a new leaf when he returned to the Australian cricket team after his ball-tampering ban.

The once fiery New South Welshman was famous for having a big mouth in the field - a practice the since humbled batsman had reportedly abandoned.

But if you believe Ben Stokes, Warner’s trash-talking instincts might have gotten the better of him during his Ashes struggles.

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Stokes wrote himself into Ashes folklore when he and number 11 Jack Leach salvaged a miraculous England win in the third Test.

Perhaps not the most popular figure among the Australian team, Stokes’ impressive play clearly got under Warner’s skin, as Stokes noted in his new book, On Fire.

“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,” Stokes wrote.

David Warner vowed to cut back on the trash talk after his suspension - but England's Ben Stokes says Warner broke his golden rule during the Ashes. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

“A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.

“He just wouldn’t shut up for most of my time out there. 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 teammates, had disappeared.

“Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back?”

Stokes’ innings was one of, if not the defining moment of the last Ashes series, which ended in a draw.

Warner might have gotten the last laugh, since Australia retained the Ashes in the end - but there’s no denying Stokes won that particular round.