Steve Smith says Quinton de Kock crossed the line with personal comments which evoked an emotional response from David Warner.
As expected, questions about the tunnel altercation between Warner and De Kock dominated the press conference on day five.
It seemed as though the media forgot that the Proteas were hammered by 118 runs at Kingsmead in the first Test.
According to the Australia captain, De Kock got too personal with his sledging, which piqued Warner’s emotions.
‘What was said and done during that interval was regrettable from both sides. Quinton got personal and evoked an emotional response from Davey,’ said Smith at the post-match press conference.
‘I think those things are not on from both sides. Getting personal on the field is not on, and that’s crossing the line in my opinion.
‘I think we were certainly chirpy on the field as well. As far as I know, we weren’t personal with Quinton.
‘Right now, it’s in the hands of the umpires and the match referee. We want to see the match played in a hard-fought way in the next few Test matches, but played in the spirit of the game.’
Smith refused to comment on whether De Kock’s comments were about Warner’s wife.
According to Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, both sides got personal in their chirping.
‘I heard a commotion and went outside and asked David to go into his dressing room because it needs to stay on the field,’ said Du Plessis.
‘If you chirp each other, it should stay on the field and there needs to be boundaries within that.
‘Both parties, from what I heard, there was a lot of personal stuff said. I don’t know in what manner, but that’s why it went off the field. If you want to go personal, us included, then it needs to stay on the field.
‘I wasn’t out there in the middle, but [from] what I hear, there was a lot of personal stuff, too, and from [both sides]. Who started it, I don’t know.
‘If it was happening on the field, it should have been nipped in the bud on the field. The fact that it spilt off the field, shouldn’t happen.’
Smith was adamant that the personal sledging came from the Proteas alone.
‘As far as I am aware, it wasn’t personal at all. Faf can say what he wants, I guess,’ Smith added.
‘That’s from my opinion and from the guys. As far as I am aware, it never got personal. It’s just about playing in the spirit of the game.
‘We are men and playing a competitive sport. Sometimes emotions get the better of players, that’s part of the game. At times we need to pull things back and make sure we are playing within the spirit of the game.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images