De Kock's personal sledging of Warner was at the heart of spat‚ says Smith

05 March 2018 - 14:51 By KHANYISO TSHWAKU in Durban
Head coach Ottis Gibson shakes the hand of Australia vice captain David Warner as Proteas captain Faf du Plessis looks on during the Sunfoil Test Series match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Kings Park Stadium, Durban South Africa on the 05 March 2018.
Head coach Ottis Gibson shakes the hand of Australia vice captain David Warner as Proteas captain Faf du Plessis looks on during the Sunfoil Test Series match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Kings Park Stadium, Durban South Africa on the 05 March 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Australian captain Steven Smith said Quinton de Kock's personal sledging of David Warner was at the heart of the nasty incident that took place between the players during the first Test.

Australia bowled South Africa out for 298 to win the match by 118 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

The two left-handers were involved in a verbal altercation at tea on the fourth day in the steps leading up to the dressing rooms.

According to the CCTV video footage‚ Warner‚ the Australian vice-captain‚ is clearly seen to be having a go at De Kock.

Warner had to be restrained by Smith and Usman Khawaja while his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis walked out when Warner was being moved into the dressing room.

“I think what was said and done during the interval was regrettable on both sides‚" Smith said.

"Obviously Quinton got quite personal and provoked an emotional response from David and I think those things are not on from both sides.

"Getting personal on the field is not on and it's crossing the line in my opinion.

“We were certainly very chirpy on the field and as far as I'm aware‚ we didn't get personal towards Quinton but what he said got a little bit personal with David and it provoked an emotional response.”

“You can't be getting into someone's personal life like that. That's not on and that's crossing the line.

"Right now that's in the hands of the match officials and right now‚ we want to see the game being played in a good‚ hard way and in the spirit of the game.”

Smith didn't want to be drawn into the specifics of the heated conversation that took place between De Kock and Warner but said he didn't want to see such an incident taking place.

Smith said they'd continue to be aggressive on the field because it brings the best out of them.

“I'm not going to comment on that‚" Smith said.

"Next time you speak to David‚ you can ask him.

"What was said was personal and we don't want to see that happening any more.

"There's going to be times when players let the emotions get the better of themselves.

"It's part of playing the international game‚ playing at such a high intensity and everything that comes with playing international sports.

“We play our best cricket when we're aggressive and hunting as a pack.

"We're working for each other and backing our mates out on the field. That's part of being an Australian in my opinion.

"I'm comfortable with where it's all at. It's all about ensuring that we stay within the spirit of the game.”

Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said the matter was currently sitting with the match official but said De Kock was on the initial receiving end of the personal verbal attacks.

“It's difficult for us to say because it's he said she said‚" Moosajee said.

"We weren't there and it's down to a case of who said what.

"Quinton said there was personal stuff that was but he was initially the victim and when he had a go at David‚ David was aggressive towards him. He hasn't said anything.

“There's always going to be two sides to the story but whatever happens out on the field‚ if there were words said on the field‚ if you're giving something‚ you have to be able to take it.

"The less said in terms of what was said on the field‚ the better because we were not there so let the investigation begin and let the match officials decide.”

Du Plessis was more diplomatic about the matter‚ saying he expected the Australians to be aggressive but said there were certain lines that shouldn't be crossed regardless of the heat of the contest.

“I wasn't personally involved but it is what it is‚" Du Plessis said.

"I wasn't out there in the middle but I'm told there was a lot of personal stuff being said on the field.

"Who started it? I don't know.

"If it was happening on the field‚ it should have been nipped in the bud on the field.

"The fact it spilled over off the field‚ that shouldn't happen.

"I don't know what made it go off the field. If you are and that's us included‚ want to go that personal‚ it needs to stay on the field.

“Every single match you play against Australia‚ you expect it.

"I'm certainly not sitting here and complaining about it.

"With the way we play our cricket against them‚ we expect it and it's just a normal day's business for us.

"I'm disappointed to see how it all unfolded yesterday but I expect a tough series and I look forward to the tough battle.”

CCTV footage has emerged of what looks like a confrontation between cricketers Quinton de Kock and Australian player David Warner on Sunday, March 4 2018. Warner had to be restrained by his team m...


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