Gibson: South Africa and Australia have not socialised off the field

Ottis Gibson South Africa Australia players not socialising cricket

Ottis Gibson: “This series has had a bit of an edge to it”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson has revealed that none of the South African and Australian players have socialised off the field during their ongoing four-Test series.

The series has been marred by a number of ugly events, which included a heated altercation between Australia vice-captain David Warner and South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.

Proteas seamer Kagiso Rabada was initially banned for making shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Australia captain Steve Smith during the second Test in Port Elizabeth, but his ban was overturned by Michael Heron, who the International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed as the judicial commissioner.

The most recent incident, however, was the most serious one as Smith, Warner and opening batman Cameron Bancroft were all sent home for their involvement in a ball tampering scandal.

Gibson recalled how during the recent Ashes series, where he was still part of England’s coaching staff, both teams socialised despite all the hype around the series.

“This series has had a bit of an edge to it that is different to the Ashes,” Gibson was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “At the end of the Ashes (Tests) you sit down and have a drink together.”

Gibson said the South African players also gelled well with the Indian players throughout their three-Test series, which the Proteas won 2-1.

“When we played against India it was a tough series, but at the end of every game the guys came and had a drink together,” he said. “We haven’t had that opportunity yet against the Aussies for whatever reason, because after every Test match there was some sort of drama, somebody had to go and see the match referee or there was some little conflict, stuff like that.”

While the ongoing series against Australia has been a heated one thus far, Gibson hopes that the players can get together and put everything in the past after the fourth Test in Johannesburg, which starts on Friday.

“At the end of the day cricket is still a gentleman’s game and hopefully the next Test we can get back some way towards being a gentleman’s game and have a beer together,” he said.

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