David Warner and Quinton de Kock have been charged with bringing cricket into disrepute over the staircase altercation that has overshadowed the Test series between Australia and South Africa.
Warner is likely to avoid suspension after being issued with a level-two charge by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for conduct “that brings the game into disrepute”.
The same charge has been levelled at de Kock, but his punishment will be less severe as it is a level-one infraction.
The ICC is yet to reveal the proposed sanctions. Australia and South Africa have until Thursday morning (AEDT) to officially respond to the reports, with both having the option to appeal.
Australia are expected to accept the verdict, desperate to draw a line under the ugly off-field spat.
South Africa may take a similar view but they are no strangers to challenging the ICC, having fiercely defended Faf du Plessis’ conduct with a series of unsuccessful appeals after the captain was fined over ‘mint-gate’ in Hobart.
Warner could yet be banned from the second chapter of the four-Test series that starts on Friday, depending on how many demerit points are added to his record.
The most likely outcome is a heavy fine and three demerit points. That would mean Warner is essentially on a final warning as any more demerit points within the next two years, even for a minor indiscretion, would automatically trigger a suspension.
Watch the altercation below:
De Kock can’t be banned, but the Proteas keeper will also be burdened in the future by demerit points unless his team successfully appeal.
The first Test finished on Monday, but Australia’s 118-run victory in Durban was marred by incredible leaked footage of Warner being restrained by teammates as he raged at de Kock.
Match referee Jeff Crowe has had to sift through claim and counter-claim regarding the incident that occurred at tea on day four of the game.
Warner reacted with unbridled fury to an alleged remark about his wife.
Australians, including Warner, had been sledging de Kock throughout his innings.
The Proteas have suggested de Kock crossed the line after being subjected to personal barbs barked by Warner, while the tourists insist that is not true.
Crowe met separately with managers of both teams on Tuesday in Port Elizabeth, having also consulted umpires Sundaram Ravi and Kumar Dharmasena.
Crowe later had a meeting with Australia’s manager Gavin Dovey and South African counterpart Mohammed Moosajee at the hotel where both teams are staying ahead of the second Test.
Crowe is also expected to meet with skippers Steve Smith and du Plessis at some point this week, imploring them to take control of their teams and ensure the next match is played in better spirits.
Warner’s rap sheet includes his infamous bar-room scrap with Joe Root in 2013, but the vast majority of his misdeeds came prior to meeting wife Candice.
The opener had been somewhat of a cleanskin after being appointed vice-captain following the 2015 Ashes, with teammates changing his nickname from The Bull to The Reverend.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann threw his support behind Warner on Tuesday, declaring he will continue as vice-captain.