Faf du Plessis says the Proteas had to stand up for themselves during the home Test series against Australia in 2018.
The series is best remembered for ‘Sandpapergate’ at Newlands, but there was also controversy during the first Test at Kingsmead when Quinton de Kock and David Warner clashed in the players’ tunnel during the tea break on day four. De Kock and Aiden Markram were battling to save the Test at the time.
Du Plessis, who had already been dismissed, was having a shower when he heard a commotion outside. He wrapped a towel around his waist and, along with other players, helped to cool tempers.
“Australia wanted to bully us,” Du Plessis told the BBC. “We had to stand up for ourselves. They abused us that whole game but the way we fought back turned the series around.”
On Warner specifically: “He was a bully. I don’t have time for bullies.”
Three weeks after clashing with De Kock, Warner received a 12-month ban from all cricket for his role in the ball-tampering scandal during the third Test in Cape Town.
He was found to be responsible for the development of the plan to alter the condition of the ball and instructing Cameron Bancroft on how to do it.