Buoyed by a winter off the drink, new Australian vice-captain David Warner insists he’s not ready to give up playing all three forms of cricket and has declared he’s determined to win a Twenty20 World Cup.
The durable opening batsman passed a milestone during Australia’s seemingly never-ending tour of England, going 100 days without alcohol.
The 28-year-old insists he’s not vowing to ban the bottle for the rest of his career, but he does credit the decision for his current physical state, admitting that despite playing every day of Australia’s draining campaign, he feels in tip-top shape.
“It’s been 100 days now so it’s quite bizarre,” he said ahead of Monday’s Twenty20 clash with England in Cardiff.
“I did think I had it in me to do it but it’s about the discipline.
“I said from the start, before I went to the West Indies, that I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to get through the West Indies, the Ashes (and) a home series.
“We have a lot of cricket to play and I’ve got to keep my body fresh.
“By all means, I’m not going to stop drinking forever. If I feel there’s a need to have a drink, I will.”
Warner didn’t budge on his drinking ban following the fifth Ashes Test, when both teams traditionally come together for a wind-down beer in the dressing room. Instead, he sipped on a bottle of water alongside teetotaller Peter Siddle.
According to the damaging left-hander, it boils down to Australia having fallen short in their bid to retain the Ashes, losing the series 3-2.
Put simply, he didn’t feel like he had the right to celebrate.
“By all means, you can celebrate and drink but, at the moment, I don’t feel we’ve had anything to celebrate,” he said.
“We’ve won a couple of Test matches, and you’ve got to enjoy your wins because they’re very rare to come by, and – had we won the series – I probably would have had a drink.
“For me, it’s about a personal choice and I’m feeling for my body for the longevity of my career so I’ve got to try and put myself and the team first.
“For me to have a good career and a long career, I’ve got to sacrifice little things to help the team and my part is to not drink at the moment.
“I look at my wife (ironwoman Candice Warner) for an example.
“In the 15 years she dedicated to her sport, she probably would have drank three or four times in her career.
“It’s those little discipline things that can keep you from playing one year to five years.”
One of the goals driving Warner is the Twenty20 World Cup in India, a major reason why he is so keen to keep playing every format of cricket at the top level.
“At the moment, while I’m feeling good and fresh, I think it’s going to be still a long time to go,” he said.
“As a team and a collective, we haven’t won the Twenty20 World Cup before. I’d really like to win that.
“I really want to be a part of the teams that are number one in all three formats.
“That will be an outstanding achievement for us if we can be number one in all formats at the same time.”