Warner fined over de Villiers ball tampering claims

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“It would be a lot better if people talked about how well you executed your skills instead of looking at ways of how you got that skill”

Australia opening batsman David Warner has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for saying that South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers was deliberately roughing up one side of the ball in order to allow the team’s pace attack to get more reverse swing during the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa’s coaching staff denied Warner’s accusations.

Even Australia bowling coach Craig McDermott and pace bowler Ryan Harris stated that South Africa had not done anything suspicious.

Warner was charged under Article 2.1.7 of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct, which relates to: “Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an International Match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match official or team participating in any International Match, irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made.”

Match referee Roshan Mahanama brought the charge forth and noted that Warner’s comments had been “disrespectful”.

“It was disrespectful for David to publicly denigrate an opponent when commenting on a match-related incident, and imply that a South African player was engaging in sharp practice,” Mahanama said. “I’m sure David will be careful when making public comments in future.”

Harris admitted that he hadn’t noticed de Villiers, Dale Steyn or any other member of the South African team tampering with the ball.

“I’ve got no doubt what they did was fine, otherwise the umpires and the match referee would have done something,” Harris said. “You’re referring to Davey Warner’s comments obviously.

“They’ve obviously looked after the ball a lot better than us, and if there’s anything illegal about it I’m sure we would have heard about it by now. They’ve obviously had experience at that ground and knew what they had to do. AB was obviously doing something with his gloves. But it’s not illegal otherwise the umpires would have done something. If he was doing something illegal, he would have been fined. You’ve got to do something with the ball, everyone does it.

“We didn’t do it well enough so we’ve just got to make sure that if it happens here [Newlands], somehow we’ve got to get it going. Throwing it into the ground, that happens in every day cricket now as long as you’re doing it from the outfield.

“There are things that are not secret because everyone does it, and then it’s a matter of how you polish it up and what you do after that.

“But I think if there’s any scratching or anything like that done, the umpires are checking the ball every 15 overs or whatever and if they see it, they’ll change it and they’ll make a report.

“Davey’s comments were obviously wrong and thats been dealt with by the ICC. I dont really want to comment on that. They handled the ball better than us.”

Steyn was not impressed by Warner’s comments, and said: “It’s not my business to get involved. When we were beaten at SuperSport Park, we went back to the drawing board and looked at how we could improve our game. When you lose a game maybe that’s what you should be doing.

“It would be a lot better if people talked about how well you executed your skills instead of looking at ways of how you got that skill.”

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