Feuding Test rivals set for peace talks

Sports | 9 Mar 2018

Warring South Africa and Australia will be summoned for peace talks ahead of the potentially explosive second Test starting today after David Warner and Quinton de Kock were both punished for an ugly bust-up in the opening match.

The International Cricket Council said that match referee Jeff Crowe will remind the teams of their responsibilities after Australian vice-captain Warner was fined 75 percent of his match fee from the Durban game and the Proteas wicketkeeper/batsman was docked 25 percent.

"Mr Crowe has convened a meeting of the captains and managers of both sides at St George's Park to outline his expectations relating to player behavior during the second Test," the ICC said.

Warner said he will always stick up for his family after claiming a "vile and disgusting" remark about his wife by de Kock led to their ugly altercation.

Warner said he was used to taking flak from fans and opposition players, but claimed de Kock's remark crossed a line.

"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," he said. "But I'll always stick up for my family."

South Africa coach Ottis Gibson called for umpires in the second Test in Port Elizabeth to do their job and defended de Kock against allegations of provoking an altercation with Warner.

Warner was cleared to play in the second Test but was fined and given three demerit points for an incident captured on closed circuit television as the players climbed the stairs towards the dressing rooms at the start of the tea interval on the fourth day of the first Test in Durban on Sunday.

Warner, who was charged with a level two offense, will be banned if he gets one more demerit point within the next year.

De Kock was charged with a lesser level one offense but contested the charge, adding further spice to the second Test. He was fined and given one demerit point.

In response to comments by his Australian counterpart Darren Lehmann that both sides would "push the boundaries" with their on-field aggression but that they shouldn't "cross the line," Gibson asked how that line was defined.

Although both teams have confirmed that there was verbal aggression on the field, the on-field umpires did not report anything, evoking skepticism from Gibson.

"Maybe the umpires need to stand up and take control of the game," he said. "If they hear things on the field, they should clamp down on it.

"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."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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