Australia dominated the First Test against South Africa, pulling off one of their most impressive Test victories in recent memory.
As we cast our eye towards Friday’s Second Test in Port Elizabeth, unfortunately, it is not the Aussies outstanding on-field display that we will be talking about.
Already this series is at risk of being over shadowed by grubby and personal sledging.
Australian off spinner Nathan Lyon has been charged with dissent following a run out celebration directed at South African star AB de Viliers, with Lyon fined 50 percent of his match fee.
David Warner was also boisterous and fired up in his celebration of the same dismissal but in no way did Warner, nor Lyon, cross the line.
Post-match former South African captain Graham Smith called Warner a fool and urged the cricketing public to take no notice of his antics.
Smith went on to say “there’s always a line and you’ve got to be very careful you don’t cross.”
Unfortunately Smith’s words fell on deaf ears.
When CCTV footage of a visibly upset Warner in a heated exchange with South African wicket keeper Quinton De Kock en route to the dressing rooms was leaked to the media, everyone was quick to jump on the back of the Aussie opener and condemn him once again.
Australia’s disgraceful reputation of tall poppy syndrome was on display as social media lit up with the majority of sporting fans pointing the blame solely on Warner.
Here’s a tiny snap shot of the reaction.
“Doubt there is a bigger prick in sport than David Warner, gives it out but can’t take it back.”
“Big boy hey David Warner, dish it out but can’t take it back.”
“David Warner, living proof you cannot polish a turd.”
“Everyone knows Warner is an A Hole.”
Even his former teammate and Australian legend Adam Gilchirst cast criticism on Warner.
Ironically these same people no doubt cheer for Warner when he blasts a typical 100 at a run a ball for his country.
As more information emerged last night as the reason behind Warner’s outburst – including personal insults directed towards his wife, Warner’s reaction was completely justified and de Kock is lucky Usman Khawaja intervened.
In light of this new information, remarkably some people are still suggesting Warner was in the wrong. I bet these same people have never had a personal insult directed towards someone they love.
I have been on the end of one such sledge – when one opponent suggested I would be better off at home with my sick and dying son rather than out on the oval playing a game of football.
If that opponent wants to know, my son, now aged 11 is doing well, but at the time he was four and in and out of hospital with congenital heart disease.
I wanted to kill the culprit and it still makes me sick when I relive the story today.
The same player, only a few years later directed a vile sledge towards my teammate’s mother. I remember my teammate visibly shaking with anger in the change-rooms post game.
Sledging is great for the game, there is nothing better than Mitchell Starc sending them past the batsman’s ears at 145km per hour and then having a quiet word. It adds another layer to a game that can sometimes be pedestrian.
But there’s a line, we all know what that line is. Quinton de Kock and perhaps some of his teammates crossed it. They should be embarrassed.
David Warner was more than justified to react the way he did. Now let’s wait for the apology.
Originally published by Kane Cornes on SEN.com.au