Well that escalated quickly. There was cricket legend Shane Warne standing centre-pitch at the MCG on Sunday interviewing a few members of the Australian XI that had just won the World Cup with a seven-wicket win over New Zealand. During the course of the exchange Warnie dared to mention that the victorious team might enjoy a few quiet ales to celebrate. Crikey. Cue the outrage of tut-tutting nannies on Twitter.
It all started simply enough.
Warnie stepped up with his microphone and the exchange went like this:
“Are you feeling thirsty?,” he asked wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
Then he came to batsman Steve Smith.
“Are you going to have a bit of a drink tonight too Smitty? Are you going to get thirsty as well? The boys are thirsty they seem,” Warne asked.
Finally Shane Watson and Josh Hazlewood fronted Warne.
“So what’s the plan – besides lots of drink and that. How long is that going to last. Just one night, two nights? We saw (coach) Darren Lehmann say it might last a week. Do you reckon it will go a bit longer than that?
“Go and enjoy yourselves guys. Hopefully we’ll join you for a few.”
That was all. Alas it seems that the mere mention of grown men, who incidentally play with a beer sponsor’s logo on their kit, celebrating by blowing the froth off a few ales was enough to spark every disapproving nanny in Australia to take him to task.
Ahhh Warnie, people can celebrate success without getting on the beers. Great work promoting Australia's drinking culture. #WorldCup2015
— Matt Spangler (@spangles85) March 29, 2015
— Jono Maloney (@MaloneyJono) March 29, 2015
— Helmut Swagenhoffer (@helmut_34) March 29, 2015
— Brent Welch (@welchy05) March 29, 2015
It didn’t end there. Warne’s interviews provoked further discussion on Australian television Monday when, on the “Today” show, Channel Nine presenter David Campbell criticized the example he set.
“I hate this,” he said.
“There is a stadium full of young men and women who look up to these guys, and it would have been nice if one of those cricketers was accountable enough to say ‘Nothing will be better than what I did on this field, Warnie’.”
“We can’t sit around here… going ‘We have a drinking problem’ and then sit there and celebrate that.”
Sounds like a big deal, but it wasn’t. Truth to tell the rest of Australia was probably too drunk to notice. Warne made the point himself when he said this in response to his critics on Twitter.
Do gooders get stuffed. Straya is the best place in the world, not politically correct, keep it real. Aussies celebrate properly ! #thirsty
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 29, 2015