Ottis Gibson says Quinton de Kock is not guilty of the level one offence he has been charged with.
The second Test starts on Friday and Gibson was bombarded with questions about the tunnel row between De Kock and David Warner.
Warner has since accepted his three demerit points and fine of 75% of his match fee.
The Proteas coach reluctantly answered questions on the incident but made it very clear that the charges from the ICC were unfair.
A hearing will be held later on Wednesday to decide the outcome for De Kock.
‘We’re appealing the level one because we believe Quinny didn’t do anything,’ Gibson said on Wednesday.
‘Quinny wasn’t aggressive. You saw some footage and the footage showed Quinny walking up the stairs and somebody else [David Warner] being restrained, and then Quinny gets a level one, that didn’t seem fair.
‘Quinny wouldn’t have said anything if something wasn’t said to him first in the first place. I wasn’t out there, Faf [du Plessis] was there, he would probably know what was said.
‘You have all seen the footage. If I’m walking up the stairs and someone else is being restrained, how can you fine me for something?’
Reports have suggested that De Kock said something derogatory about Warner’s wife. But when asked about what exactly the wicketkeeper said, Gibson diverted to questioning the line that was said to have been crossed.
‘I can’t categorically speak for another person, so I don’t know what was said. There’s this thing I have seen recently about “the line”.
‘They say they never crossed the line, but where is the line? Who sets the line? Where does it come from? But when you say “we haven’t crossed the line”, you said stuff but you never crossed the line. You went very close but you never crossed it. Whose line is it? Our line? We don’t have a line. We’re just trying to play cricket.’
The Proteas coach also agreed with Proteas captain Faf du Plessis that umpires need be in control of the game.
‘The match officials and the ICC, they govern the game, and the umpires on the field must take charge of the game,’ he added.
‘If things are being said and it’s within earshot of the player who is standing at point or wherever he is fielding, surely the umpires can hear. So maybe umpires must stand up and take control of the game.’
Gibson said that he spoke to his players and told them to focus on the match ahead.
‘I feel everyone needs to just focus on cricket, you’re missing the point. Everybody needs to focus on cricket. Just calm down and listen to cricket,’ he said.
‘Am I telling my players not to talk? I’m telling them not to focus on talk. But again if I keep poking at you all the time, I’m sure you will respond as well.’
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