Cape Town – The Newlands Test between the Proteas and Australia is turning ugly.
On Friday, after the end of play on day two, Australian coach Darren Lehmann blasted South African spectators, labelling them as “disgraceful” for reportedly abusing his players.
Lehmann said that the Australians had been the victims of “personal” abuse throughout the series but that it had been particularly bad in Cape Town.
On day two, David Warner had been confronted by a South African supporter when leaving the field after being dismissed by Kagiso Rabada.
The fan clearly antagonised Warner and was subsequently kicked out of the stadium.
It was also confirmed on Friday that a group of spectators wearing t-shirts insulting Warner’s wife, Candice Warner, were also evicted from the stadium.
On Saturday, with a significantly larger crowd in attendance, things were tense once more.
Warner even had Australian security manager Frank Dimasi accompany him to the fine leg boundary when Nathan Lyon was bowling.
Dimasi stood facing the crowd, clearly there to keep an eye and ear on any potentially unsavoury behaviour.
— Lloyd Burnard (@LloydBurnard) March 24, 2018
Sport24 sat in the crowd near the fine leg fence and hadn’t been there longer than 10 minutes before hearing a spectator launch abuse Warner’s way.
The fan mentioned All Black Sonny Bill Williams, who has been an unlikely, yet common feature of the series.
When Warner had clashed with Quinton de Kock in Durban during the first Test, it was reportedly due to a comment that De Kock had made about Candice Warner and an intimate encounter she had with Williams in a toilet back in 2007.
Exactly what was said between De Kock and Warner has never been fully disclosed, but that hasn’t stopped the South African public from jumping on the ‘SBW’ train.
Dimasi made a phone call shortly after the Williams comment was heard, and minutes later police officers and stadium security arrived at that section of the crowd.
The officers approached a group of South African supporters dressed in what seemed to be Merv Hughes costumes and engaged in a heated exchange.
The men being questioned were from a local cricket club and were not sitting anywhere near where the insult had come from.
“We were not abusive. We were offering a few comments and he (Dimasi) started making phone calls and the next minute three or four SAPS offices met him and then came around here,” Jonathan Boulton, who was one of the men questioned, said afterwards.
“They’ve given us one warning and then they will eject us if we abuse an Australian cricketer.”
Craig McNaught, another one of the fans given the warning, gave his view.
“I think they’re looking for a target and for people to eject, just because we’re South African supporters,” he said.
— Sport24News (@Sport24news) March 24, 2018