'That's crossing the line!' Fired-up Aussie cricketers allege personal comments directed at David Warner's wife sparked ugly tea-time altercations with Proteas




A war of words has broken out in the wake of David Warner's stunning tea-time rampage in Durban, with South Africa claiming Australia were also guilty of personal sledging in the spiteful Test.

Dramatic footage emerged yesterday of Warner being restrained by teammates in an off-field confrontation with South Africa keeper Quinton de Kock.

The CCTV video shows a fired-up Warner remonstrating with de Kock as the teams walked upstairs to the change rooms during Sunday's tea break.

Match referee Jeff Crowe and the International Cricket Council continue to probe the ugly episode, but it's understood it was sparked when de Kock made disparaging comments about Warner's wife.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis, whose contribution to the tea commotion was to emerge from the rooms and tell Warner to move on, argued on Monday "there was a lot of personal stuff being said" by "both parties".

Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee suggested Warner got personal in his sledging and "whatever happens out on the field, you giving something you've got to take it".

Du Plesiss and Moosajee wouldn't get into nitty-gritty, but the Proteas are privately alleging that Warner referenced de Kock's sister and mother in some verbals.

Australia captain Steve Smith wouldn't confirm what triggered the rampage, but repeatedly rejected accusations Australia made personal comments about de Kock.

"We were certainly very chirpy out on the field as well. As far as I'm aware we didn't get personal towards Quinton," Smith said after his side's 118-run win.

"I don't think it was personal at all, but Faf can say what he likes I guess.

"What he (de Kock) said got a little bit personal towards Davey and as we saw it certainly provoked an emotional response.

"Those things aren't on and you can't be getting into somebody's personal life ... that's crossing the line."

Warner is physically held back by Usman Khawaja in the footage then shepherded into Australia's rooms by Smith.

"What was said and done during that interval was regrettable on both sides," Smith said.

"At times we need to pull things back and ensure we are playing within the spirit of the game."

Du Plesiss, who admitted he'd never seen anything like the incident in his career, called on umpires to take better control during games.

"If you chirp each other it's always on the field. There needs to be boundaries," he said.

"Umpires play a big role in that, to make sure that you don't let it get to that stage."

Du Plessis had no issues with the tourists' sledging in the Test.

"If I don't hear that then I'm disappointed," he said.

"I'm certainly not sitting here complaining about it. It's the way we play our cricket against them.

"I don't decide where that line is.

"Quinny's fine ... when you look at him now, it's like nothing happened."

Smith made it clear that Australia's aggressive approach on the field would remain intact.

"We play our best cricket when we're aggressive, we're in the fight together, we're hunting as a pack," Smith said

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