David Warner: The BullMartin Chandler |
Author: Piesse, Ken
Publisher: Wilkinson Publishing
Rating: 3.5 stars
My own view? I can’t say I am a fan of Warner, but whilst I can see where his detractors are coming from to me he has always been more of a pantomime villain than anything else. He has obviously been a top class batsman throughout his career and, whilst he has been scoring runs against anyone other than England I have enjoyed watching him, I certainly haven’t taken any pleasure watching him putting English bowlers to the sword in Australia very much. On the other hand I have taken as much pleasure in his travails in England as any of my countrymen.
Author Ken Piesse is an Aussie however, and whilst his book on Warner’s life is by no means a hagiography, he admits that the research for the book made him warm towards his subject. I wonder how he felt therefore on the morning of Tuesday 31 July. He has clearly been working on this unauthorised biography for some time and, in ending his narrative after this year’s World Test Championship final, had made the decision not to wait to complete it until after the conclusion of the 2023 Ashes.
In the event the entire series was, of course, a stunning spectacle, each game ebbing and flowing and the final day of the series set up for a grandstand finish. It might have been that for Warner too. After an uneventful series on a personal level he stood at 58 not out overnight, and there was the possibility that he might lead Australia to victory with the century in England that had always eluded him. Would Ken have felt obliged to pull the project to add an extra chapter or two if he had? It would have been tempting I am sure, and I suspect that, loyal Aussie that he is, there would have been just a tiny part of Ken Piesse that was a little relieved that the last page of the 2023 Ashes story was written for Stuart Broad rather than David Warner.
So all was well for the August launch of David Warner: The Bull, a project for which there was never going to be a shortage of material. The two best known controversies to have afflicted Warner’s career are the incident in 2013 when he punched Joe Root in a Birmingham night club, and most important of all the ‘Sandpapergate’ episode in Cape Town in 2017/18. I soon learned as I read Ken Piesse’s narrative that there have been plenty of other tricky moments that Warner has had to deal with.