DURBAN (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) are looking into a heated off-field exchange between players on day four of the first test against South Africa in Durban on Sunday.
CCTV footage from the players tunnel at Kingsmead showed Australia vice-captain David Warner and home wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock involved in a fiery exchange as players climbed the stairwell to their dressing rooms during the tea break.
The video shows Warner being restrained by Australia batsman Usman Khawaja and spin bowler Nathan Lyon as he directs a verbal barrage at De Kock, who left the field as South Africa’s not-out batsman at the same time as the Australians.
Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine also moves in to block Warner before his captain Steve Smith ushers the opening batsman away.
“It’s rather unfortunate that the incident took place and certainly not in the spirit of the game,” South Africa’s team manager Mohammed Moosajee told reporters.
“The match referee had spoken to us after the day’s play. We will await any further communication from the ICC around this incident.”
Cricket Australia (CA) said it was also looking into the incident.
“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 and will not be commenting further until that has been done.”
South Africa were 293 for nine at the close of the fourth day, still 123 runs adrift of Australia, who will return on Monday to wrap up what appears an inevitable victory in the four-match series opener.
A fired-up Warner had earlier given Proteas counterpart Aiden Markram a huge verbal spray after the rookie batsman was culpable in running out AB de Villiers for a duck.
Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith criticised Warner as “a bit of a fool” and “like a fly buzzing around your head” but Markram, who went on to score an impressive 143, played down the sledging as part of the game.
Reporting by Ian Ransom and Mark Gleeson; Editing by Peter Rutherford/John O'Brien