David Warner has launched another verbal attack on Quinton de Kock‚ but this time it is on the record.
Unlike what happened on the boundary and on a staircase at Kingsmead on Sunday — when Warner called De Kock a "f**king sook [softie]" and then, in a video that did not carry a soundtrack, unleashed a tirade on the South African that lasted all the way until the teams reached their dressing rooms — Warner’s words were recorded.
The Australian vice-captain spoke at a media conference for Australian reporters only that was published solely in Australian outlets.
"I think you guys are well aware that I cop it left‚ right and centre‚ especially off the field from spectators‚" Warner was quoted as saying by the Melbourne Age.
"I am used to that and it doesn’t bother me. But in the proximity of my personal space and behind me‚ a comment that was vile and disgusting and about my wife and just in general about a lady‚ was quite poor‚ I felt.
"My emotional response‚ you saw‚ was just [to] something that I don’t believe should have been said. And … I will always stick up for my family.
"I’ve always felt that when it comes to family or racism comments or anything like that‚ that’s just a no-go zone.
"I’ve seen the footage and I regret the way it played out but for me it is how I am and I responded emotionally and regretted the way I played out."
By that logic‚ anything said to a player "out on the field" does not constitute grounds for provocation and retaliation. And all bets are off if whatever is said is something that "I don’t believe should have been said".
And that even though "I regret the way it played out", it’s all good because "I responded emotionally" and "I’ll always stick up for my family".
No matter what?
Warner accused De Kock of making his comment too quietly to be heard except by those close to him and then denying that he had said anything. "We’re all men‚ and if you’re going to say something you look someone in the eye and say it."
That’s from someone who did not "look [match referee Jeff Crowe] in the eye and say" what he had said because he declined a hearing where such details would have had to be disclosed.
Instead Warner accepted his level-two charge of bringing the game into disrepute and was hit with a fine of 75% of his match fee and three demerit points.
De Kock‚ who was charged with the same offence on level one‚ did go to a hearing where he told Crowe what he had said to Warner. He was docked 25% of his match fee and earned a demerit point.
Had Warner fronted up he might have been banned from playing in the second Test.
"What happened the other day was not appropriate and I responded a tad emotionally‚" Warner acknowledged.
But that was as far as his repentance stretched.
"I play with aggression … and I try not to cross that line …. But I don’t think whatsoever there on the field [at Kingsmead] that I have ever crossed that line.
"I live by the sword and die by the sword‚ so I’ll keep playing with that energy."
Careful‚ Mr Warner‚ one more demerit point and the sword that is hanging over your head will fall.