Australia coach Darren Lehmann has made his feelings known after star batsman David Warner found himself in a verbal altercation with a spectator in Cape Town.
As Warner was walking off the field after being dismissed by Kagiso Rabada, he was confronted by a man who was allegedly a guest in the exclusive members’ area at Newlands.
Stadium management confirmed to SACricketmag.com during the final session that the fan had been ejected from the ground as a result.
Warner has been unfairly targeted by fans ever since he and Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock were involved in a stairwell spat during the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban, where the South African was accused of making derogatory comments about the former’s wife.
‘I think it’s been disgraceful,’ Lehmann told journalists at the end of the day’s play at Newlands on Friday.
‘You’re talking about abuse of various players and their families. It’s not on at a cricket ground, anywhere around the world, not just here. It shouldn’t happen,’ said the Australia coach.
‘You can have the banter, that’s fine. Banter’s good-natured fun, but they’ve gone too far here.
‘We’ve written to Cricket South Africa, Cricket Australia have done that, and we’ll see their response,’ said Lehmann, who described the comment made to Warner as ‘personal and poor’.
‘And he [Warner] wasn’t the only one [who was abused].’
The kind of abuse the Aussies have been receiving was not like anything they’ve ever encountered anywhere in the world, added Lehmann.
‘Not at this level. We accept it all around the world, but as soon as they cross the line, where talking about players’ families, and getting abuse from fans, it’s just not on,’ reiterated Lehmann, saying such abuse was not seen anywhere else but in South Africa.
Two years ago, a fan was banned from the Bellerive Oval in Hobart after writing graffiti calling Proteas batsman Hashim Amla a ‘terrorist’, and in 2005 Makhaya Ntini spoke about racial abuse after he was referred to by the ‘k-word’ in Perth.
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