South African cricket officials forced to apologise for Sonny Bill masks

Sheri Evans
March 14, 2018

Cricket Australia (CA) could seek to bring charges under the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct after South African officials were photographed posing with spectators wearing Sonny Bill Williams masks aimed at taunting David Warner during the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Ahead of this series, the Australians had even gone to South African broadcaster SuperSport, requesting that the on field microphones be turned off, meaning viewers wouldn't have to be exposed to the obscenities bandied about during play.

"'On behalf of CSA I extend my honest apologies to the Board of Cricket Australia (CA), its officials, team management, players and their families, ' commented CSA President Chris Nenzani".

Warner, whose spat with Proteas wicket-keeper, Quinton de Kock, has reverberated around the world, is tasked with shining the ball in the Australian setup. CSA said it would follow its "normal internal processes", with regards to Eksteen and Kazi, which will likely begin with an internal investigation.

Warner's wife, Candice Warner, had a sexual encounter with Williams in a hotel toilet in Australia in 2007 before her relationship with the cricketer began.

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The photographs, taken on Day 1 of the ongoing second Test, have since gone viral on social media. The left-handed opener was left fuming after De Kock had allegedly said something about Candice during the first Test, and the home fans wanted to further ridicule the Australian. According to him, the mask-wearing fans were not allowed inside the stadium initially, but somehow managed to contact him and Eksteen.

Clive Eksteen and Altaaf Kazi have been ordered to CSA headquarters in Johannesburg for a meeting, and the chances are high that they could lose their jobs.

Kazi has admitted that it "one of the worst judgment calls I have made".

If they both do not go, then it is surely a sign that cricket is losing its class.

Meanwhile, CSA had reiterated that freedom of expression will be respected, within the limits of their own guidelines for spectator behaviour, which does not tolerate any racism, sexism or derogatory comments.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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