South African officials allow controversial Sonny Bill Williams masks
South African officials allow controversial Sonny Bill Williams masks
South Africa apologise to Australia on Sonny Bill Williams mask incident
13 March, 2018, 07:07
After an ugly feud with South African keeper-bat Quinton de Kock during the first Test in Durban last week, Warner has reason to be aggrieved during the ongoing second Test too.
While it was reported that the Proteas believe the strapping on Warner's hand helped alter the condition of the ball, former Australia pace bowler Ryan Harris, who used to be Warner's teammate, brushed aside South Africa's supposed allegations.
Cricket South Africa officials Clive Ekstee and Altaaf Kazi were caught up in the Warner/de Kock stoush when they were pictured standing with fans wearing Sonny Bill Williams masks in an effort to rile Warner.
If that wasn't bad enough, two Cricket South Africa executives made a decision to take a picture with fans donning the masks clearly used to bait Warner, whose wife Candice was controversially pictured in a bathroom cubicle with the New Zealand rugby star back in 2007.
Warner wrote the names of wife Candice plus children Ivy and Indi on his heavily-strapped hand on Sunday during the second Test between Australia and South Africa.
The masks were banned initially by venue security at St George's Park, but CSA overruled that order on Friday.
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Both camps shot down reports of South Africa's batsmen complaining about Warner's hand, while it's understood match referee Jeff Crowe told the tourists that Warner's strapping isn't a problem.
Kazi and Eksteen were then contacted by the fans and met them at the gates, where it was decided that they would be allowed in. "They said "let's take a photo with you guys", revealed Kazi.
Kazi denied that his actions amounted to support for those wearing the masks. "They're fans", he said. People come in dressed as all sorts of things. CSA president Chris Nenzani apologized to the Australian cricket board, the team management, players and their families for the incident.
The home side lost just one wicket (nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada) in the first two sessions as Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar poked the ball around at under two runs an over before tea.
"CSA has taken immediate precautionary steps against the CSA officials allegedly involved in this incident and will follow the organisation's normal internal processes in this regard", a statement read.
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