Thursday 13 December 2018

Warner row mars Aussies' victory in first Test

Australia’s David Warner. Photo: PA
Australia’s David Warner. Photo: PA

Australia's victory in the first Test with South Africa degenerated into an ugly row between David Warner and Quinton de Kock with both teams facing disciplinary action from the match referee.

Warner was again at the centre of controversy, his flare-up with De Kock the latest in a long line of confrontations with opponents. Steve Smith, the Australia captain, claimed De Kock made personal comments to Warner who had to be held back by team-mates as the sides entered the dressing rooms at tea on day four.

The incident was caught on CCTV at the Kingsmead cricket ground in Durban and leaked yesterday morning as play was about to begin on the final day.

Australia took just 22 balls to take the final wicket for a 118 runs victory. "It's rather unfortunate that the incident took place and certainly not in the spirit of the game," said South Africa's manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee. "The match referee had spoken to us after the day's play. We will await any further communication from the ICC."

It has been reported that De Kock made comments about Warner's wife, the triathlete Candice Falzon.

"Those sorts of things are not on from both sides," said Smith said at his post-match press conference after Australia won the first match in the four-Test series.

"Getting personal on the field is not on. We were certainly very chirpy out in the field as well. As far as I'm aware, we didn't get personal towards Quinton. What he said got a little bit personal towards Davey and, as we saw, it certainly provoked an emotional response."

The footage shows Warner being restrained by team-mates Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine as the two sides went up the stairs of the pavilion to the dressing room. Cricket Australia said they are looking into the incident but put the onus on match referee Jeff Crowe.

"CA is aware of reports of an incident between players in Durban," a spokesperson for the Australian governing body said. "CA is working to establish the facts of what has occurred."

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