PORT ELIZABETH: Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine has suggested South Africa are not being truthful with their version of events in the build-up to the confrontation between David Warner and Quinton de Kock in the first Test in Durban.
South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee said on Monday that Warner had engaged in a personal verbal attack against De Kock on the pitch that involved members of his family. "That`s completely false. At no stage was Quinton`s family mentioned, that`s 100 percent false," Paine told reporters of the events preceding a flare-up that occurred as the teams left the field for tea on Sunday`s fourth day.
"I don`t know how their team manager can hear from where he`s sitting but from where I was, which was right near the whole time, there was nothing we said that was inappropriate." Warner was seen on CCTV footage needing to be restrained by teammates on a stairwell as he launched a verbal volley in the direction of De Kock, who according to local media reports had responded to sledging with a comment about the opener`s wife.
The Australian vice-captain has been charged with a Level 2 offence by the ICC, which could see him miss the second test in Port Elizabeth that starts on Friday. Australia lead the four-test series after recording a 118-run win in Durban.
De Kock faces a Level 1 charge, which carries the maximum sanction of a fine. Australia have long had a reputation for attempting to unsettle opposition players with words as well as actions, but Paine says there was a line the team would not cross.
"Our stuff is the way we`ve always played our cricket," he said. "Certainly it`s hard, and we like to make them feel uncomfortable out there. "But we don`t cross the line and bring people`s wives and family into the cricket game. And we`ll continue to do that for as long as we play."
Warner is no stranger to controversy and was nicknamed `Bull` early in his career, a moniker that fittingly captured his rampaging batting and tendency to rack up violations for ill-tempered episodes during play. He was suspended in 2013 for punching England batsman Joe Root in a bar.