The video footage of the ugly altercation between Australia opener David Warner and South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock took the cricketing fraternity by storm on Monday (March 5). Both Australia and South Africa have blamed each other for crossing the line and cricket fans have their own say on what is acceptable and what isn’t.
The unpleasant incident has been condemned by quite a few former cricketers like Adam Gilchrist, Ian Chappell, Graeme Smith, Kepler Wessels among others. And now former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has joined the bandwagon.
Akram, who has played 104 Tests and 356 ODIs for Pakistan, believes that sledging has always been a part of the game but it should end with the day’s play and not spill outside the ground.
“We used to have a go at batsmen as well. And there were stump microphones. But that was (ended) there and then. After six o’clock, shake hands, have a cup of tea after the game, have a laugh,” Akram told Sport360 during an event in Dubai on Friday (March 10).
The pace legend further went on to say that a bit of aggression is good for cricket and makes the game all the more enthralling for the viewers.
“Do whatever you want to do. As a pacer you have the aggression, as a batsman you have patience. That’s the beauty of the game, being a top batsman and a bowler. But whatever you say and whatever you do should stay on the field,” he added.
Akram though was rather quick to make it clear that there are certain boundaries a person is not allowed to cross while sledging.
“You can’t get personal,” he concluded by saying.
The CCTV video of that nasty spat shows a fired-up Warner directing a verbal barrage at De Kock when the teams walked upstairs to the change rooms during the tea break on the fourth day of the first Test at Kingsmead, Durban. If the reports of certain media outlets are to be believed, the fracas had been ignited by De Kock, who passed some derogatory remarks on Warner's wife Candice while some allege that Warner started the scuffle by taking pot shots at De Kock's family members and termed the Proteas glovesman as "bush pig".
Nonetheless, both the players have been penalized by the International Cricket Council (ICC). While De Kock was charged for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct and has been fined 25 percent of his match fee, in addition, to be awarded one demerit point, Warner was found guilty of breaching Level 2 of the ICC's code of conduct for the same offence. The Australian vice-captain has been fined 75 percent of his match fee (approximately $13,500) and has given three demerit points.