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South Africa argued provocation and cited witnesses of David Warner’s sledging, but Quinton de Kock’s level-one charge for bringing cricket into disrepute has been upheld.
De Kock fronted a hearing chaired by match referee Jeff Crowe in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, having contested the charge resulting from an ugly staircase showdown with Warner during the first Test.
Crowe ruled the original punishment, one demerit point and a fine of 25 per cent of de Kock’s match fee, should stand.
The Proteas are expected to accept the verdict, something that didn’t happen when they challenged captain Faf du Plessis’ bowl-tampering charge during the ‘mint-gate’ saga.
Du Plessis, de Kock, coach Ottis Gibson and team manager Mohammed Moosajee all attended the hearing that lasted approximately 45 minutes.
It’s understood the Proteas wanted de Kock’s sanction downgraded to something less severe, having also been unhappy that Warner didn’t cop a level-three charge for his role in the off-field stoush.
De Kock is understood to have admitted he made an unsavoury remark that enraged Warner, but that he was provoked by a series of barbs from Australia’s vice-captain.
Footage emerged on Wednesday of Warner calling de Kock a “f***ing sook” as players filed off the field at tea on day four of the first Test.
South Africa claimed they had witnesses who heard the words that Warner directed at de Kock, but Crowe ruled there was no justification for a more lenient punishment.
De Kock and the Proteas are yet to address publicly whether the comment was about Warner’s wife, as has been suggested by the tourists.
“I wasn’t there. I can’t speak for another person,” Gibson said, when asked prior to the hearing.
“Quinny would not have said anything had something not been said to him in the first place.
“If I keep poking at you all the time what will you do? I’m sure you will respond as well.”
Gibson also argued in his press conference that “we’re appealing the level one, because we think that Quinny didn’t do anything”.
“Quinny wasn’t aggressive,” he said.
“The footage showed Quinny walking up the stairs and somebody else being restrained and then Quinny gets a level one. That didn’t seem fair.”