Australia captain Tim Paine has returned serve to Ben Stokes, labelling as a cheap shot “to spike book sales” the England all-rounder’s claim that sledging from David Warner provided extra motivation for his famous match-winning hundred at Headingley during the Ashes.
Stokes writes in his new book, On Fire, that Warner “just wouldn’t shut up for most of my time out there” compiling an unbeaten 135 that enabled England to pull off a miraculous one-wicket victory in August and level the series. “I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though,” Stokes wrote.
Paine on Sunday jumped to the defence of Warner, who endured a forgettable Ashes with the bat and was booed throughout the series, his first in the Test arena since the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.
Asked whether the passage about Warner in Stokes’ book was a cheap shot, the Test captain replied: “Oh, absolutely. I was obviously standing next to David the whole time and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field. But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey’s name to spike book sales. So good luck to them.”