Warner escapes ban as de Kock contests charge
AUSTRALIA vice captain David Warner escaped a ban yesterday after pleading guilty to bringing cricket into disrepute for his confrontation with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock on a stadium staircase during the first test in Durban.
Warner was fined 75 percent of his match fee, the International Cricket Council said, and received three demerit points for his role in the incident at Kingsmead Stadium during a break in play on day four of the opening test last Sunday.
Warner admitted the level two offense, which can carry up to four demerit points and which would lead to a ban. But with only three demerit points, the opening batsman is free to play in the second test starting tomorrow in Port Elizabeth.
Warner was involved in a heated argument with de Kock on a staircase leading to the dressing rooms as players came off for the tea break on the fourth day in Durban. During the confrontation, which was caught on a stadium security camera, an angry Warner had to be restrained by a number of his teammates as he directed comments at de Kock.
The incident was the result of on-field verbals between the teams during play, which then spilled over as players made their way to their respective dressing rooms. The sledging between the teams got out of hand when Warner and de Kock started making personal comments about each other’s family members.
De Kock was charged with a less serious level one offense related to bringing the game into disrepute but is contesting the charge and was to have a hearing later.
The charges were levelled by on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Sundaram Ravi, third umpire Chris Gaffaney, and fourth umpire Allahudiean Palekar.
Australia leads the four-test series 1-0 following a commanding 118-run win in Durban in a match undermined by a series of heated on-field incidents.
Australia spin bowler Nathan Lyon had already pleaded guilty to a charge for his celebration of South Africa batsman AB de Villiers’ run out. In the celebration, Lyon intentionally dropped the ball onto de Villiers, who was lying sprawled on the ground after being run out.
Warner, after playing a part in that same run out, celebrated with a taunting tirade at the other South Africa batsman at the crease, Aiden Markram.