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Cape Town -
Proteas manager Mohammed Moosagee has hit back at controversial Australian opener David Warner’s suggestion that South Africa tampered with the ball during the second Test in Port Elizabeth, dismissing his remarks as “sour grapes”.
The two camps traded verbal jabs on Tuesday before the series-deciding third Test, which starts at Newlands on Saturday.
“David Warner’s remarks are disappointing and discouraging. It takes the gloss off a great Proteas team performance,” Moosagee told the Cape Times.
“It smacks of sour grapes and it could just be a tactical plan to get us involved in matters that will distract our attention from this crucial Test in Cape Town.”
Moosagee went further, saying: “Hardly anyone takes anything David Warner says seriously anyways,” in a thinly veiled reference to Warner’s numerous rants on Twitter on which he attacked two leading Australian cricket writers.
Cricket Australia fined him $5 750 for his indiscretions.
He was also suspended from taking any further part in the ICC Champions Trophy and the practice games before the Ashes for punching England’s Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham last year.
Moosagee said Cricket South Africa would not pursue any action against Warner and “will leave it to ICC to look into his remarks”.
South Africa’s fast bowlers gained impressive reverse swing during their final session rout on day four, cleaning up Australia’s last nine batsmen for the addition of just 90 runs to bring the second Test to a mesmerising climax.
Warner’s dismissal to the part-time spin of JP Duminy shortly before the tea interval precipitated the collapse.
Warner believed both teams worked on the ball at St George’s Park, but said the Australians found issue with AB de Villiers’s method of handling the ball.
“I think it comes down to the umpires warning both teams not to throw the ball into the wicket, which you generally try and do,” Warner had told Sky Sports Radio. “They did it better than what we did, or more obvious(ly) than what we did.”