Sydney (AFP) – Australian cricket chief James Sutherland Friday demanded his players show more respect for their opponents in the wake of incidents that overshadowed the first Test against South Africa in Durban.
David Warner was fined 75 percent of his match fee and given three demerit points following a bust-up with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock as the players went to the dressing rooms at the tea interval on day four.
Warner claimed De Kock made “disgusting, vile” comments about his wife, capping a niggly contest in which Nathan Lyon was also fined for his reaction following the run out of the Proteas’ AB de Villiers.
Sutherland said he supported the sanctions and commended match referee Jeff Crowe for his handling of the “difficult situation”.
“CA has reminded the team of the standards of behaviour expected of players representing Australia,” he said, pointing to the ICC Code of Conduct and the need to play within the laws and spirit of the game.
“This includes the need to be respectful of opponents, and CA expects this to be observed by players at all times.
“Unfortunately neither team met this standard in Durban. The Australian team understands that fans expect better.”
Captains Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith met on Thursday ahead of the second Test and agreed they and the umpires had a responsibility to avoid any more blow-ups, but continued to disagree on what sparked the Warner-De Kock altercation.
Du Plessis insisted his player had been provoked by personal comments from Warner.
Sutherland said Australia always prided itself on being competitive and this would not change.
“However, CA is confident that what occurred in Durban will remain an aberration,” he said.
“Under the period of the current team leadership, Australian players have received fewer sanctions under the ICC Code of Conduct than players from the majority of the nine top-ranked Test playing nations.
“CA is confident that the rest of the series in South Africa will be remembered for enthralling cricket played in the right spirit by both teams.”