Visitors Australia beat South Africa comfortably in the first Test but the spotlight was all on the controversy of the heated battle in the dressing room between David Warner and Quinton de Kock.
The skipper of South Africa Faf du Plessis and former Aussie cricketer Simon Katich ave called on the match officials to play a more proactive role in ensuring that tensions between the two sides don’t boil over and lead to incidents.
Katich said: “The important thing is that match referee has to step in and nip this in the bud. If it is allowed to keep going on, then things are going to get out of control as we saw in the tunnel. And we don’t need that look for Test cricket.”
The South Africa captain Faf du Plessis had suggested earlier that Dhamarsena and Ravi should have stepped in when Warner and de Kock were exchanging words on the field, which could have prevented the argument spilling over into the stairwell as players left the field for tea.
He said: “If it was happening on the field, it probably should have been nipped in the bud on the field already. Umpires play a big role in that, to make sure you don’t let it get to that stage. There have been a lot of games where our bowlers will get penalised, or [pick up] demerit points if you step over the line. I heard there was a lot of personal stuff on the field already. To and from. Who started it, I don’t know.”
Neither Smith nor du Plessis knew whether Warner and de Kock had put the issue to bed, but the pair shook hands at the end of the match. “Quinny is fine. You don’t get a reaction out of Quinton anyway most of the time,” du Plessis said. “When you look at him now, it’s like nothing happened.”