Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia vice-captain and opener David Warner has attributed his heated altercation with Quinton de Kock to the fact that the South African wicketkeeper-batsman made “a comment that was vile and disgusting and about my wife”.
Warner had to be physically restrained by his teammates as he attempted to confront De Kock while the players were going up the steps for the scheduled tea interval on the fourth day of the first Test in Durban.
The entire incident was caught on CCTV and Warner was fined 75 percent of his match fee, which amounted to more than A$13,000, and was given three demerit points.
As for De Kock, he was fined 25 percent of his match fee and handed one demerit point. De Kock tried to appeal against the sanctions, but it went in vain.
Warner added that prior to De Kock making those alleged comments about his wife, he had been called “every name under the sun”.
“I think you guys are well aware that I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators. I am used to that and it doesn’t bother me,” Warner was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “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, and as I said my emotional response, you saw, was just something that I don’t believe should have been said.
“I will always stick up for my family. And in that case, my team-mates as well. I just would have liked him to say the comment a little bit louder, instead of muttering it under his breath next to me and Tim Paine, and then walking up the stairs and saying ‘I didn’t say anything’ as soon as the rest of his team came out. At the end of the day, we’re all men, and if you’re going to say something, you look someone in the eye and say it.
“I’ve always felt that when it comes to family or racism comments or anything like that, that’s just a no-go zone. I’ve been called everything under the sun out the field and that, quite frankly, doesn’t bother me.
“Each individual is different, of course, but if we are going to jot down everything that is in that sort of spectrum, whether it is calling me a slowcoach on the field or whatever it is, it is up to the individual, but at the end of the day, the other day was, I felt, 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.”
Elaborating on the CCTV footage that was leaked and spread like wildfire, Warner said: “There was probably three different camera angles and you’ve probably seen the only one at the top of the race. So, at the end of the day I can only speak for what was shown on the footage.
“But look, where it was said was literally at the top of the stairs before the first set of stairs to the changerooms. And that was where you saw my emotional response. Yeah, from there you probably would have seen me turn around.
“After it happened that night we didn’t really speak about it because we honestly thought there was not a lot in it until there was a bit of video footage leaked and we had to explain what happened. I’m just relieved to be able to get back on the park and move on.”
As for Warner’s emotional celebration after AB de Villiers was run out in the second innings of the first Test, he pointed out that it was a huge moment for Australia, especially as De Villiers had finished unbeaten on 71 in the first innings.
“For me, it was a key moment in that game,” he said. “The way we celebrate or other people celebrate should never be questioned, I don’t think. We were excited, it was a big moment in the game, he’s one of the best players to ever play the game and to get him out with a guy at the other end who hasn’t really played much Test match cricket, we’re going to celebrate those moments.
“I play with aggression on the field and I try not to cross that line and it has been in the past that I have sort of been fiery, but I don’t think whatsoever there on the field that I have ever crossed that line. But that’s how I play my cricket, I live by the sword and die by the sword, so I’ll keep playing with that energy and making sure I am the voice in the team to keep our guys motivated on the field, that’s for sure.
“You guys have seen the past 18-24 months how I conduct myself on the field. What happened the other day was not appropriate and I responded a tad emotionally. But I think I’ve been fantastic the last 18-24 months. I’ve played with aggression, it’s just the cameras haven’t been on me for the last two years.”
While Warner doesn’t expect any similar comments to be made in the second Test, which starts on Friday in Port Elizabeth, he made it clear that he will react very differently if the Proteas do end up crossing the line with their on-field remarks.
“I’d find it quite poor if similar comments were said,” he said. “I’d take an appropriate stance and make sure that matters are taken off field away and spoken about in a quiet room, and make sure we can deal with it that way.
“But I can’t see anyone else making comments the way that he made them, which were outright disgusting. As I said, it’s a thing you wouldn’t say about any lady, especially someone’s wife or a player’s wife. I’ve accepted that the way it was played out was regrettable, I’ve stated that, and hopefully in the future if I’m going to respond emotionally, I would try to do it in a more appropriate manner and walk upstairs.”