David Warner fined for ball-tampering comments against AB De Villiers

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Australia opener David Warner has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee after pleading guilty to a charge of making inappropriate comments about South Africa player AB de Villiers ahead of the third and final Test which starts in Cape Town on Saturday. Warner had accused South African players of tampering with the ball to gain extra reverse swing that ruined the Aussies in the second Test at Port Elizabeth. South Africa won the Test match inside four days to level the three-match series 1-1.

Warner was found to have breached Article 2.1.7 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an international match or any player, player support personnel, match official or team participating in any international match.

On Thursday, Warner admitted the offence and accepted the proposed sanction offered to him by Roshan Mahanama of the elite panel of ICC match referees. As such, there was no need for a formal hearing. The charge related to comments made by Warner on Tuesday during an interview on Australian radio.

Explaining his decision, Mahanama said: “It was disrespectful for David to publicly denigrate an opponent when commenting on a match-related incident, and imply that a South African player was engaging in sharp practice. I’m sure David will be careful when making public comments in future.”