Warner slams coward’s ‘disgusting’ wife sledge
DAVID Warner has broken his silence on the sledge that sparked his confrontation with South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock in a stairwell in Durban.
Warner's teammates had to restrain the Aussie vice-captain as players from both sides made their way to their dressing rooms during a break in play in the first Test.
Warner claims he was on the end of a "vile" comment about his wife Candice Falzon which left him no option but to stick up for his family.
"I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators and I'm used to that and it doesn't bother me," Warner said.
"But in a proximity of my personal space and from behind me, a comment that was vile and disgusting about my wife, and in general about a lady, was quite poor, I felt.
"My emotional response was just something that I don't believe should have been said and I'll always stick up for my family and in that case my teammates as well."
Warner slammed de Kock's cowardly act, accusing him of saying his below-the-belt sledge then trying to pretend as if nothing ever happened.
"I would have liked him to actually say the comment a little bit louder instead of just muttering it under his breath next to me and Tim Paine and then walking up the stairs and saying, 'I didn't say anything' as soon as the rest of his team came out," Warner said.
"At the end of the day, we're all men and if you're going to say something you look at someone in the eye and say it."
The opening batsmen denied suggestions from the Proteas camp he or any other Australians got personal in their sledging of de Kock. Asked if de Kock's sister was mentioned during the game, Warner said: "No, I did not say that."
The 31-year-old is free to play in the second Test in Port Elizabeth where he hopes there won't be a repeat of the "downright disgusting" comments made in the series opener, which Australia won by 118 runs.
"I can't see anyone else make comments the way he made them, which were outright disgusting," Warner said. "As I said, it's a thing you wouldn't say about any lady, especially someone's wife or a player's wife."
Warner was charged with a Level 2 offence for bringing the game into disrepute and was slapped with three demerit points and fined 75 per cent of his match fee from the first Test.
But he pointed to his good behaviour over the past couple of years as proof he hasn't crossed the line on the field in the way he's accused de Kock of.
"You guys (the media) have seen the past 18-24 months how I conduct myself on the field," Warner said. "What happened the other day was not appropriate and I responded a tad emotionally.
"But I think I've been fantastic the last 18-24 months.
"I play with aggression on the field and I try not to cross that line and it has been in the past that I have sort of been fiery.
"But I don't think whatsoever there on the field that I have ever crossed that line.
"That's how I play my cricket; I live by the sword and die by the sword.
"I'll keep playing with that energy and making sure I am the voice in the team to keep our guys motivated on the field, that's for sure."
Warner's comments come after unseen footage emerged that showed the moment he exploded at the Proteas wicketkeeper. Warner called de Kock a "f***ing sook" as they left the field and the new video shows what happened before the two started climbing the stairs.
Warner turned on his heels after hearing the comment about his wife and it was then Paine stepped in to hold him back.
De Kock was charged with a Level 1 breach. Coach Ottis Gibson was adamant his No. 7 should not have been slapped with any punishment.
"We're appealing the Level 1 (charge) because we think that Quinny didn't do anything," Gibson said.
"Quinny wasn't aggressive, I think you saw some footage and the footage showed Quinny walking up the stairs and somebody else being restrained and then Quinny gets a Level one. That didn't seem fair.
"There's one guy walking up the stairs going back to his dressing room (de Kock), there's another guy having to be restrained (Warner). If I'm walking trying to get to my dressing room and somebody is being restrained how can you fine me for something?"