Quinton de Kock was found of guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC’s code of conduct in relation to bringing the game into disrepute. The South African wicketkeeper did not contest the charge but did try to the reduce the sanction against him. He was unsuccessful. At a hearing on Wednesday evening, match referee Jeff Crowe ruled that De Kock would lose 25% of his match fee and have one demerit point against his name.
The incident over which de Kock was charged took place on the fourth day of the Durban Test, when the players left the field for tea. Broadcast footage, which was made public on Wednesday, showed David Warner allegedly swearing at de Kock and CCTV footage of the passageway leading to the dressing rooms, published on Monday, had Warner being physically restrained by team-mates while shouting at de Kock, who did not respond.
Warner was charged with a Level 2 offence on Tuesday evening, and fined 75% of his match fee. Though he has accepted these sanctions, Australia claim Warner was responding to a jibe from de Kock, and they say it was “personal.”
On Wednesday morning, South Africa revealed that they would contest de Kock’s charge and at a press conference in the afternoon coach Ottis Gibson said South Africa believed “Quinny didn’t do anything.”
However, at the hearing, de Kock did not dispute the charge levelled against him but argued against the severity of the sanction. He was accompanied by captain Faf du Plessis, coach Ottis Gibson and team manager Mohammed Moosajee and in a 45-minute session admitted to saying “something,” to Warner, but only after being provoked. South Africa presented two independent witnesses who confirmed de Kock’s assertion that he was responding to Warner.
The verdict was delivered around 20 minutes after the hearing concluded.
For South Africa, the guilty verdict is still a victory of sorts because they wanted to make the point that de Kock was not the instigator. On several occasions, South Africa referred to their batsmen being badgered and all but accused the umpires of not stepping in to curb the matter on-field. Both du Plessis and Gibson have called on the match officials to do better, even though umpires claimed they had not heard anything untoward. It has not been established whether what was said involved the family members of either player, as had been previously claimed. – cricinfo