'You feeling thirsty?': Australia's Shane Warne slammed for drinking comments

Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc douses teammate David Warner in beer in early morning celebrations at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after their World Cup victory.

Story highlights

  • Australian cricket legend Shane Warne is criticized for post-match interview questions
  • He seemed preoccupied with how Australian team were planning to celebrate World Cup win
  • Critics said the comments promoted an unhealthy drinking culture to sports fans

(CNN)Australian cricket great Shane Warne has been criticized for promoting an unhealthy drinking culture, following post-match interviews at cricket's World Cup final in which he repeatedly quizzed players about their drinking plans.

Acting as part of the commentary team for Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, Warne interviewed the victorious Australian players at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the wake of their comfortable win over New Zealand.
Broadcast live and amplified throughout the stadium, the exchanges -- in which Warne seemed preoccupied with how much the players planned to drink -- prompted a backlash on social media using the hashtag "#thirsty."
    To wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, Warne asked: "You feeling thirsty?"
    Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne, center, celebrates a win in New Zealand in 2000.
    He continued the theme with Steve Smith, asking: "What about you, gonna have a bit of a drink tonight too Smitty? Gonna get thirsty as well? The boys are thirsty they seem."
    Shane Watson and Josh Hazlewood were subjected to a similar line of questioning:
    "So what's the plan, besides lots of drink and that, how long's that gonna last? Just one night, two nights?" asked Warne.

    Twitter backlash

    The comments sparked an immediate reaction on Twitter, with users criticizing Warne for setting a poor example to young cricket fans, and one labeling him a "bogan" -- Australasian slang for an unsophisticated person -- for his line of questioning.
    Some Twitter users played on Warne's publicized fondness for the Tinder dating app, which has seen the former cricketer hit the headlines in recent times.

    Support for Warne

    Not all responses were critical, with British journalist Piers Morgan among those coming to Warne's defense.
    Warne, a noted bon vivant who was often photographed with drink in hand after wins during his playing days, took to Twitter to tell his detractors to "get stuffed."
    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."
    The boozy indiscretions of professional athletes often make the news in Australia, although players from the footballing codes of rugby union, rugby league and Australian rules are more commonly in the spotlight.

    Late night celebrations

    Members of the successful Australian team partied late into the night Sunday, with coach Darren Lehmann tweeting a picture of team members celebrating in their uniforms as the sun came up, with drinks in hand.
    Warne's inquiries about the team's plans to celebrate were apparently not in vain.
    At about 3 a.m. he posted a picture on Instagram of himself holding the World Cup trophy alongside Australian captain Michael Clarke, the latter with a drink at his side.

    A photo posted by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on