• AB suspected Warner – report

    A message from AB de Villiers to Graeme Smith led to a SuperSport camera monitoring the ball closely while the Australians were fielding at Newlands, according to Brisbane’s Sunday Mail.

    The newspaper says it was triggered by De Villiers’ suspicions that Australia vice-captain David Warner was ‘up to something during the second Test’ in Port Elizabeth. Warner’s left hand was heavily strapped during that match.

    Smith, the former Proteas captain, has been a SuperSport commentator throughout this Test series.

    The Sunday Mail also claims that the Australians were unhappy that the Proteas had achieved reverse swing so early in Australia’s first innings at Newlands.

    ‘Australia felt the ball just went [reverse] out of nowhere for South Africa. Australia’s theory for that, it’s understood, was that wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was rubbing the ball on his gloves.’

    The report then offers details of how Australia’s ball-tampering plan unfolded.

    ‘Warner and Bancroft sat in close proximity in the sheds as opening partners. In a dressing room described by ex-players as one of the smallest in world cricket, sources claim [Australia captain Steve] Smith became aware of a plan, but didn’t want to know about it. This, of course, was his failure as captain.

    ‘Did others know of the plot? Some sources are convinced it could not have remained such a closely-guarded secret between three people.

    ‘Others believe it is possible due to the chaotic nature of lunch breaks. Players only get a couple of minutes together as a group.

    ‘There are unconfirmed suggestions someone in the room uttered a phrase resembling “just don’t be ridiculous”.’

    Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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