David Warner plans to treat Quinton de Kock with nothing but respect when the two clash again on South African soil in the upcoming Australian limited-overs tour of the country. Also Read - Australia Spinner Steve O'Keefe Announces Retirement From First-Class Cricket
Warner and De Kock were involved in an ugly spat, on and off the field, the last time Australia toured South Africa in 2018 which is now remembered more for the Newlands ball-tampering scandal. While the reason behind their heated verbal exchange was never made public, various reports claimed that De Kock had retaliated to Warner’s constant on-field sledging directed at him by commenting on the Australian’s wife. Also Read - Australia Head Coach Justin Langer Calls For Closed-Door Cricket When Situation Improves
“Obviously we’ll cross paths playing against each other,” Warner said in Johannesburg. “But I don’t have his number and I speak to a few of the South African guys but I’ve never played in the same team as him or anything like that. Obviously it’s a little bit different. I’m sure if I see him on the field and that, we’ll just treat each other how we normally would as respectful opponents.” Also Read - Jonny Bairstow Calls Opening With David Warner For SRH in IPL 'Amazing'
Australia and South Africa will square off in a three-match T20I series starting February 21 to be followed by a three-match ODI series. When asked if tempers will flare again between the two teams, Warner said the possibility is less considering the nature of the format.
“It’s one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket,” Warner said. “You don’t really have much time over the short period of time to get underneath each other’s skin or anything like that. And you don’t go out there to do that. Obviously they had some heated exchanges with the English (last month) and that was during the Test matches.”
Warner, 33, says the focus in firmly on performance on the field and sending a message that Australia are the team to beat in the world cup year. “For us, our focus is moving forward and trying to get the wins on the board and send a message to everyone that the [T20] World Cup is in our backyard and we want to be a team to be beaten,” he said.
De Kock, who is now South Africa’s limited-overs captain, says he has moved on from the incident. “I think me and [Warner] have moved on from there anyway. We just look to play cricket, we still both love to play the game really hard. But I don’t think anything will happen. We’ll just carry on with the way we need to go about things and won’t worry too much about it,” he said.