Australia vice-captain David Warner, who was facing the possible suspension from the second Test for his involvement in a stairwell altercation with South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, has now been cleared to play in the match after accepting the charge imposed on him by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe.
Warner was charged for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct and has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee (approximately $13,500) in addition to three demerit points. It is worth mentioning here that Level 2 offence can warrant up to four demerit points which result in an automatic suspension of one Test or two limited-overs internationals, whichever comes first.
Given the fact that Warner has accepted a sanction of three points, he is free to take part in the Port Elizabeth Test, scheduled to start on Friday (March 9). On Tuesday (March 6), De Kock was charged with a Level 1 offence for the same breach and until now it is unknown whether the Proteas camp have accepted the charge handed out to their glovesman.
Dramatic video footage of that nasty spat emerged on Monday (March 5) in which Warner can be seen pointing and directing a verbal barrage at De Kock, before he was restrained and taken away by his teammates.
The incident has been condemned by former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist, while South Africa's team manager said it was "not in the spirit of the game."
Addressing the media after the match, Australia skipper Steve Smith has accused De Kock of starting the whole fracas by getting personal with Warner.
"Quinton got quite personal and provoked an emotional response from Davey. As far as I am aware we didn't get personal toward Quinton,” Steve Smith had told reporters on Monday.
On the other hand, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis said the 25-year-old De Kock was unaffected by the incident.
"When you look at him now, it's like nothing happened. Quinny's fine. I don't think you'd get a reaction out of Quinton anyway, most of the time,” Du Plessis had said in the media conference.