David Warner has been menacing South Africa on the field in the three-Test series, now he has their team management in a spin.
The Proteas travelled to Cape Town on Tuesday, shortly after Warner queried whether South Africa were acting within the limits with scuffing of the ball in their second Test victory, which was secured with devastating reverse swing bowling.
“We were actually questioning whether or not (South African wicketkeeper) AB de Villiers would get the ball in his hand and with his glove wipe the rough side every ball,” Warner told Sky Sports Radio.
“That’s another thing we have to try and bring up with the umpires.”
Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosagee was furious with Warner’s comments, which come ahead of the series-deciding clash at Newlands starting on Saturday and four months after the Proteas were embroiled in a ball-tampering saga.
“David Warner’s remarks are disappointing and discouraging. It takes the gloss off a great Proteas team performance,” Moosagee told South African newspaper DFA.
“It smacks of sour grapes and it could just be a tactical plan to get us involved in matters that will distract our attention from this crucial Test in Cape Town.
“Hardly anyone takes anything David Warner says serious.”
Moosagee said he would “leave it to the ICC to look into his remarks”.
Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel unleashed a day four reverse-swing masterclass in Port Elizabeth, inflicting a collapse of 9-62 en route to a series-levelling victory.
In October, Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis was fined 50 per cent of his match fee in a nine-wicket win over Pakistan for rubbing the ball near the zipper of his trouser pocket.
Match referee David Boon said the ball-tampering charge was warranted, but also that it “was not part of a deliberate and/or prolonged attempt to unfairly manipulate the condition of the ball”.
De Villiers, speaking prior to du Plessis’ sanction but after umpires Ian Gould and Rod Tucker hit South Africa with a five-run penalty during the match, was incredulous.
“We’re not a team that scratches the ball,” de Villiers said.
“We want to swing the ball as much as we can and try to get it to reverse. But we don’t cheat.”