Birmingham: Describing David Warner as "generous and giving", Australia's stand-in cricket captain George Bailey downplayed the opener's bar-room brawl with England batsman Joe Root, calling it a "minor" incident but "disappointing" nonetheless.
After the ICC Champions Trophy Australia versus New Zealand group A match here was abandoned due to rain, the post-match media conference of Bailey centred around Warner. "It's been dealt with from my point of view. It's disappointing, but a very minor incident and it's been dealt with in house and that's it," Bailey said.
"I thought he took it on the chin, and he's had a cheer around the group, so it was outstanding. No pun intended. Sorry about that," he added.
Defending champions Australia are in a tight spot after a loss in the opening game against England. Adding to their woes, skipper Michael Clarke is battling a back injury while Warner faces stricter action after being stood down from Wednesday's game due to the brawl.
The explosive Australian opener is being investigated over claims of an unprovoked attack on England batsman Joe Root after Saturday's defeat against the hosts here. Bailey said despite the storm over Warner, the Aussie dressing room has been calm.
"Very comfortable. Very easy. The situation for us, believe it or not, was bigger than this - it was about making sure we won this game to stay in the tournament and play some better cricket than we had against England. And with this sort of a result I am still not sure if we have done that," he said.
Bailey was asked to comment on Warner as a teammate and the batsman was effusive in his praise.
"I love playing cricket with him. I love his enthusiasm.
Love his energy around the group. Love the way he plays. Wish I had the talent that he does. He is a particularly generous team-mate, very giving. I'm looking forward to playing lot more cricket with him in whatever cricket I have," he said.
"Well, as a balance, we'd love to have him around, no doubt about that. But there's no point in having him around if it's not beneficial to A, his back, or B, him getting into a situation where he cannot play for us, so, not really," he added.
"I think we're at the stage now where, as a growing team, having one person there or not there shouldn't make or break how we play."