Reports of Warner’s personal barbs on de Kock ‘100 % false’: Tim Paine
In the aftermath of the altercation between David Warner and Quinton de Kock that was caught on camera, eventually leading to an ICC investigation, Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine echoed the thoughts of his captain Steven Smith by saying that reports of Warner making personal barbs at the South African stumper were ‘100 % false’. Incidentally, the ICC charged the two cricketers – Warner with a Level 2 offence [which can lead to a one-Test ban] and de Kock with a Level 1 offence.
“At no stage was Quinton’s family mentioned, that’s 100% false. I don’t know how their team manager [Mohammed Moosajee] can hear from where he’s sitting, but from where I was, which was right nearby the whole time, there was nothing we said that was inappropriate,” Paine said in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday (March 6).
Paine was one of three Australian players that were attempting to pull Warner back during the fracas in the stairwell in Durban. He also claimed that he and his teammates were playing Australia’s ‘way’ of cricket and making life tough for de Kock while he was out batting in the middle and that they did not make any personal comments.
“We were trying to make it an uncomfortable place for Quinton to bat, no doubt, but we didn’t cross the line. We spoke about cricket stuff and a few little things with his fitness. Our stuff is the way we’ve always played our cricket. Certainly it’s hard, and we like to make them feel uncomfortable out there. But we don’t cross the line and bring people’s wives and family into the cricket game. And we’ll continue to do that for as long as we play.
“Obviously the situation wasn’t ideal for both sides and it was regrettable what happened up the stairs, but it’s disappointing that they’ve come out now and said a few things that are just blatantly untrue.”
Paine also revealed that de Kock had mentioned Warner’s wife during the fracas on stairwell, and he was unsure what would’ve happened if Warner had gotten any closer to the South African. “I don’t know what would have happened to be honest, but he was certainly extremely fired up and he had every right to be. I think at the time when it was actually said [about Warner’s wife], I think I was probably the only person that heard it.
“Usman had gone a bit further ahead and I was about to walk around them both, I just thought they were still going on just from the general chatter that was on the ground. As I went past de Kock he said what he said, and luckily I suppose I was there in between.”
The wicketkeeper also opined that Warner was not the sort of player who’d get upset about being sledged and would take as good as he gave, but to drag families into such heated incidents was unacceptable. Paine stated that the Australian team was firmly behind Warner, and that the the pugnacious opener is at his best when he is combative and confrontational.
“Once he [Warner] got off his chest what he wanted to say, once he sat down, there was no issue. He is not the sort of bloke who will whinge about being sledged, I’ve hear blokes say a lot of things on the cricket field that don’t bother him, I have never seen him react like he reacted when we were coming off the field. People have said if he gives it he is going to have to take it, all that sort of rubbish, which is fine on the field, but when you are bringing people’s families or wives into it it’s unacceptable.
“Our team is certainly behind him, we know as a group what we said on the field and what we didn’t say on the field, everyone is totally comfortable with that and we also know what was said by the opposition. I don’t think it will change [us] a lot, a lot of people like to pretend that they like being in the fight and having verbal stoushes on the cricket field but Davey is genuinely someone who loves that and thrives on it. I can’t wait to see him prepare for this game, when he gets the bit between the teeth he is one of the best cricketers in the world.”