DURBAN – Both Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia have reacted to CCTV footage of an ugly confrontation between Australian vice-captain David Warner and South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock at tea on the fourth day of the first Test at Kingsmead on Sunday.
In the footage, Warner is visibly angered by something, and tries to go back down the stairs that go up to the players’ dressing-rooms.
He is restrained by Usman Khawaja as well as Tim Paine, and both captains are involved in the heated scuffle before the teams enter their respective change-rooms.
Cricket South Africa, speaking through team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee, had this to say on Monday morning.
“It’s rather unfortunate that the incident took place and certainly not in the spirit of the game. The match referee had spoken to us after the day’s play. We will await any further communication from the ICC around this incident,” the statement read.
Cricket Australia, meanwhile, acknowledged that they had also seen the footage, and they were investigating the matter.
The scenes on Sunday afternoon followed a particularly heated middle session in the day’s play, in which South Africa retaliated to strong Australian pressure with a strong batting display.
Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and then De Kock were all subjected to some choice words by the Australians on the field, and events then spilled onto the break in play, too.
It is understood that the scene which sparked the tension was the run out of AB de Villiers, which was orchestrated by smart work from David Warner. The
Aussie opener, while celebrating in a huddle with teammates, was then seen shouting something in the direction of the South African batsmen.
Of interest in the post-match deliberations will be the umpires’ reports, as they were at the foot of the stairs when the incident at the tea-break started.
Umpire Kumar Dharmasena is metres behind Warner and De Kock as they start their argument, and both on-field umpires follow the pair hurriedly as they head up the stairs to the dressing-rooms.