Melbourne: A Twitter feud between hard-hitting batsman David Warner and fast bowler Brett Geeves, which raked up an old racial vilification claim, has infuriated Cricket Australia which has threatened the duo with a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
The row erupted during Tuesday night`s Big Bash preliminary final between NSW and Tasmania when Warner blasted Ben Hilfenhaus for six and celebrated by shouting `that`s massive` as the ball sailed out of the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
NSW won by nine wickets with Warner hitting an unbeaten 70 from 49 balls that included eight fours and three sixes.
Writing on Twitter, Geeves accused Warner`s act as "an example of humility gone wrong", to which the batsman responded by reminding the Tasmanian he was "lucky one player refused to follow up on your racial vilification slur u made on the field".
The two then traded insults, with Warner labelling Geeves a `cock`. Cricket Australia has reprimanded the pair and warned them that any further outbursts will not be tolerated, `The Australian` reported.
CA spokesman Peter Young said the racial vilification slur was made several years ago, and "has long since been resolved appropriately".
He described the exchange as "inappropriate" and claimed both players expressed contrition when spoken to by CA manager of cricket operations Michael Brown.
"Brown has also let them know with some vigour that if they ever go into this space again he`ll have no hesitation in laying a charge of bringing the game into disrepute," Young said.
"They`ve expressed contrition, they`ve apologised to each other and on Twitter as well," he said.
Young defended the wider use of Twitter among international and state players, including acting Australia captain Michael Clarke who was criticised during the Adelaide Test for hiding behind Twitter.
After being caught off the occasional spin of Kevin Pietersen for 80 in the second innings of the second Test, which Australia lost badly, Clarke apologised on the social networking site for not walking when he was clearly out. Clarke, however, had refused to speak publicly about the matter.
"We believe that social media is a really valuable way for cricketers to engage with their fans," Young said.