David Warner was reported for a level 2 offence for breaching the ICC code of conduct. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock and Australian vice-captain David Warner have been reported for breaching the International Cricket Council's code of conduct, and bringing the game into disrepute, following their unsavoury spat at tea on the fourth day of the first Test at Kingsmead.

Warner was reported for a level 2 offence, while De Kock was handed a level 1 offence. These sanctions come after Australian spinner Nathan Lyon was also charged for conduct not in keeping with the spirit of the game, and fined 15% of his match fee.

Warner faces a possible suspension from the second Test in Port Elizabeth. A level 2 charge brings with it up to four demerit points that could result in a one-Test or two limited-overs game ban. He could also be fined 100 percent of his match fee from the first test.

Both teams’ management and the affected players have been given until today to respond to the charges. Match referee Jeff Crowe had a meeting with both teams yesterday in Port Elizabeth, as officials seek to draw a line on a controversy that has overshadowed the on-field action.

The pair had exchanged deeply personal jibes, in an altercation that had started with sledging on the field during play, and then threatened to get physical outside the respective teams' change-rooms, which was captured by stadium security cameras.

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Warner, a veteran of 72 Tests, was seen trying to lunge towards De Kock on the stairs going up to the team rooms, after a heated discussion as they left the field of play. Warner had to be restrained by several teammates, while De Kock had teammates - including captain Faf du Plessis come out of their dressing-room in support.

Both captains expressed regret that things had got personal off the field in their post-match press conferences, and were keen to move forward and focus on the cricket.

The Mercury