The nasty altercation between David Warner and Quinton De Kock has taken an ugly turn as fans have started venting out their frustration over the incident.
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.
The South African fans have now taken it upon themselves to mock Warner's wife and add to his misery. Photos emerged prior to day one of South African supporters preparing masks of rugby star Sonny Bill Williams. They were made to taunt Candice Warner — nee Falzon — about her drunken sexual encounter with the All Black in the bathroom of a Sydney pub in 2007.
Eastern Cape has always had a sense of humour: fans getting Sonny Bill masks ready for day one of the second Test in Port Elizabeth. pic.twitter.com/jXU0cEBwfE— Dan Nicholl (@dannicholl) March 8, 2018
The incident crossed all limits when two Cricket South Africa executives were photographed posing alongside fans wearing the masks of Williams on day one, Fairfax Media reports. Head of commercial and marketing Clive Eksteen and head of communications Altaaf Kazi were snapped smiling next to three men with Williams masks on.
Eminent cricket journalists from both the countries Melinda Farrell (Australia) and Firdose Munda (South Africa) have also expressed their concern of things blowing out of proportion over this entire issue and that the focus should be brought back to cricket.
Alive and well indeed. I am so utterly embarrassed that this is people's idea of a joke or even of a decent, legitimate thing to do. It was International Women's Day yesterday but that seems to have been overlooked here. Shameful. https://t.co/IxCcvjk1cV— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) March 9, 2018
So we are just focusing on the actual cricket now, right?— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) March 9, 2018
Also, and probably more importantly, this ongoing public shaming of Candice Warner is horrendous.— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) March 9, 2018
This ugly incident now pops up many questions relations between the two teams in future and how will it affect cricket's governing body, the ICC in near future. Earlier, Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland admitted the Australian team's behaviour in Durban was unacceptable, but Warner's grip on the vice-captaincy appears safe in the wake of his staircase stoush with de Kock.
CA's board met on Friday for the first time since the ugly incident that has overshadowed the Test series in South Africa.
It's understood player behaviour was not the focus of the meeting, and speculation that Warner — who was incredibly vocal during last year's pay dispute — could be stripped of his leadership post was privately dismissed. But ahead of the second Test, Sutherland warned that the Australian public expects better from players.
Australia faced a tough opening day to the second Test, suffering a dramatic collapse as it went from 0/98 to all out for 243. Warner top scored for the tourists with 63 while Kagiso Rabada was the home side's best with the ball, taking 5/96 from 21 overs.
Rabada's send off to Steve Smith has triggered off a new controversy which is still awaiting a decision by the match referee.