While the hot off-field incident produces the high heat in the four-match Test series between the hosts South Africa and Australia, match referee Jeff Crowe convened a meeting among the two captains and managers prior to the second Test.
During the first Test at Kingsmead (Durban), there was a CCTV footage came out where clearly showed that Australian vice-captain David Warner had a heated exchange with the Proteas wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock in the stairwell during the tea-break of day 4. The Warner was looking so angry that his teammates needed to involve to control him.
After the match, ICC took strict actions against both of the players. While Warner received three demerit points along with the 75% match fee fined, Quinton de Kock received one demerit point along with 25% match fee deduction.
The second Test of this series will begin on Friday at St George’s Park (Port Elizabeth). Before that match, the first Test match referee Jeff Crowe has convened a meeting on Thursday where both captains and managers have invited.
ICC released a statement by quoting, “Mr. Crowe has convened a meeting of the captains and managers of both sides (Thursday) at St George’s Park to outline his expectations relating to player behaviour during the second Test starting on Friday.”
While both teams have confirmed that there were verbal aggressions during the play, the on-field umpires didn’t report anything. Ottis Gibson, the former West Indian fast bowler and present head coach of the South African cricket team, commented that the umpires and match officials need to take more responsibility to stop recreating this kind of nasty incident.
Gibson said, ”If things are happening in the game and things are being said and if it’s within earshot — if the player is standing at point or wherever he is fielding, surely the umpires can hear. Maybe the umpires need to stand up and take control of the game. The match officials are there to do a job and to govern the game on the field, and off the field I guess. If they hear things on the field, they should clamp down on it.”
Gibson added, “It becomes unfortunate when everybody else hears stuff and the match officials say they haven’t heard anything. They are there to do a job and they must do their job. I think everybody just needs to focus on cricket. Calm down and get back to cricket.”
Earlier, Australian vice-captain David Warner confessed that he crossed the line and also regretted that incident. He said, “The other day I was probably out of line. I’ve seen the footage and I regret the way it played out but for me, it is how I am and I responded emotionally and regretted the way I played out.”
The left-handed Australian opener also mentioned that he feels very angry when comments rise on his personal family matters or racism. He quoted, “But I’ll always stick up for my family. I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators. I am used to that and it doesn’t bother me. But in the proximity of my personal space and behind me, a comment that was vile and disgusting and about my wife and just in general about a lady was quite poor, I felt. When it comes to family or racism comments or anything like that, that’s just a no-go zone.”
Australia is currently leading the series by the 0-1 margin after winning the first Test by 118 runs.