David Warner has avoided suspension and copped a fine of about $13,500 after being charged over his staircase stoush with Quinton de Kock.
Warner accepted a level-two charge by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for conduct “that brings the game into disrepute”.
Australia’s vice-captain was docked three-quarters of his match fee and slapped with three demerit points, effectively putting him on a final warning for the next two years.
Any more demerit points for Warner, even for a minor indiscretion, will automatically trigger a suspension.
The same charge has been levelled at de Kock but his punishment will be less severe as it is a level-one infraction.
The tourists are desperate to draw a line under the ugly off-field spat which involved Warner being restrained by teammates as he raged at a comment the Proteas’ wicketkeeper allegedly made about his wife.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 7, 2018
South Africa took a different view, confirming they would contest de Kock’s charge. A hearing will take place on Wednesday night in Port Elizabeth.
The Proteas are no strangers to challenging the ICC, having fiercely defended the conduct of Faf du Plessis with a series of unsuccessful appeals after the captain was fined over ‘mint-gate’ in Hobart.
Bad blood continues to overshadow the four-Test series between Australia and South Africa which resumes on Friday.
South Africa is understood to be disappointed Warner didn’t receive a level-three charge from the ICC, something that would have meant he missed the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
De Kock can’t be banned but he will also be burdened in the future by demerit points unless his team appeals successfully.
Warner was a lively presence at St George’s Park on Wednesday morning, when ill coach Darren Lehmann was a notable absentee from the squad’s first session at the ground.
Australia’s 118-run victory in Durban was marred by incredible leaked footage of the fracas, with match referee Jeff Crowe then forced to sift through claim and counter-claim regarding the incident.
Australians, including Warner, had been sledging de Kock throughout his innings. Warner called de Kock a “f–––ing sook” as they crossed the boundary.
The Proteas believe de Kock was subjected to personal barbs, but Australian keeper Tim Paine says that claim is “100 per cent false … blatantly untrue”.
Crowe met managers of both teams on Tuesday, having also consulted umpires Sundaram Ravi and Kumar Dharmasena.
Crowe is also expected to meet skippers Steve Smith and du Plessis this week, imploring them to take control of their teams and ensure the next match is played in better spirits.
Several players are at risk of being banned if they misbehave during this series.
Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada has five demerit points on his record, while du Plessis has three. Paine and Nathan Lyon have one point each.
Warner’s rap sheet is headlined by his infamous bar-room scrap with Joe Root, but his record had been clean prior to this incident.
The opener had been somewhat of a cleanskin since being appointed vice-captain in 2015, having credited wife Candice for the turnaround.