MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia have said they are looking into a heated off-field exchange between players on day four of the first Test against South Africa in Durban on Sunday. CCTV footage from the players tunnel at Kingsmead showed Australia vice-captain David Warner and South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock involved in a fiery exchange as players climbed the stairwell to their dressing rooms during the tea break.
The video shows Warner being restrained by Australia batsman Usman Khawaja and spin bowler Nathan Lyon as he directs a verbal barrage at De Kock, who exited the field as South Africa`s not-out batsman at the same time as the Australians.
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Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine also moves in to block Warner before his captain Steve Smith ushers the opening batsman away. "CA is aware of reports of an incident between players in Durban," a CA spokesperson said.
"CA is working to establish the facts of what has occurred and will not be commenting further until that has been done." South Africa were 293 for nine at the close of the fourth day, still 123 runs adrift of Australia, who will return on Monday to wrap up what appears an inevitable first-up victory in the four-match series.
A fired-up Warner had earlier given the Proteas` opener Aiden Markram a huge verbal spray after the rookie batsman was culpable in running out AB De Villiers for a golden duck. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith criticised Warner as "a bit of a fool" but Markram, who went on to score an impressive 143, played down the sledging as part of the game.