MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Cricket Australia (CA) have told their under-fire team the unsavoury incident involving opening batsman David Warner during the first test against South Africa was unacceptable and warned them about their behaviour for the rest of the series.
Warner was fined 75 percent of his match fee for his involvement in a heated exchange with South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock as the two sides walked off the pitch on the fourth day in Durban.
The exchange, where Warner had to be restrained by his team mates as both sides spilled into the corridor to separate the pair, was captured on security cameras and broadcast globally.
“The events of day four in Durban have unfortunately marred an otherwise very good test match and a dominant performance by the Australian men’s team,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Friday.
“Australia has always prided itself on taking a highly competitive approach to international cricket.
“This will not change, however CA is confident that what occurred in Durban will remain an aberration.”
The second match of the series begins in Port Elizabeth later on Friday, but the spectacular outburst has dominated the buildup, with much of the media coverage condemning Warner and the sledging by Australia in general.
The pugnacious opening batsman said that he had exploded at de Kock, who was fined 25 percent of his match fee, for ‘vile and disgusting’ comments the wicketkeeper allegedly made about Warner’s wife.
South Africa’s players, however, have said Warner’s on-field sledging was also personal. He also gave opening batsman Aiden Markram a huge verbal spray after he was culpable for the run out of team mate AB de Villiers.
Both sides, however, have denied claim and counter-claim as to what was said or who was the main protagonist and captains Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith called for calm on Thursday.
Sutherland also said that his organisation had reminded their players to keep their emotions in check and the need to not only observe the rules but the spirit of cricket.
“CA has reminded the team of the standards of behaviour expected of players representing Australia,” Sutherland said.
“This includes the need to be respectful of opponents, and CA expects this to be observed by players at all times.
“Unfortunately neither team met this standard in Durban. The Australian team understands that fans expect better.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty