Port Elizabeth: David Warner has broken his silence on his stairwell altercation with Quinton de Kock, describing the South African wicketkeeper's sledge about his wife, Candice, as "outright disgusting" and "a thing you wouldn't say about any lady, especially someone's wife or a player's wife."
The Australian vice-captain was fined 75 per cent of his match fee from the first Test - a sum of about $13,500 - after pleading guilty to a level-two breach of the players' code of conduct, while de Kock lost his appeal against a less serious level-one charge here on Wednesday night.
Fairfax Media on Thursday published new CCTV footage that shows the point at which Warner exploded in rage as de Kock trailed him towards the dressing rooms, with Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine having to restrain the opener.
Speaking about the incident for the first time Warner said he was used to being sledged and was not one to usually react in such a way.
“I think you guys are well aware that I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators. I am used to that and it doesn’t bother me," Warner said.
"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 as I said, I will always stick up for my family. And in that case, my teammates as well.
"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 been called everything under the sun out the field and that, quite frankly, doesn’t bother me.
"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. But I’ll always stick up for my family."
The new camera angle shows Warner reacting abruptly and then being dragged away from de Kock by Paine at the bottom of the staircase that leads to the dressing rooms. At the landing at the top of the stairs Usman Khawaja then held him back and Paine continued to try and calm him down before captain Steve Smith led him away.
Despite the angry scenes Warner does not believe the confrontation could have escalated into violence had his teammates not stepped in.
"No, not at all," he said. "I just would have liked him to say the comment a little bit louder, instead of muttering it under his breath next to me and Tim Paine, and then walking up the stairs and saying 'I didn't say anything' as soon as the rest of his teammates came out.
"At the end of the day, we're all men, and if you're going to say something, you look someone in the eye and say it."
He also vehemently denied claims that emerged out of the South African camp that he had made insulting comments about de Kock's mother and sister.
"No, I didn't say that," Warner said.
"It is quite disappointing that they would come out and make that statement. I was actually taken aback by what was accused. I think that's absolutely frivolous."
While he is now on notice, needing only one more demerit point against his name in the next two years to be banned for a Test, Warner declared he would not change the way he carried himself on the field.
"No, not at all. You guys have seen the past 18 to 24 months how I conduct myself on the field," he said. "What happened the other day was not appropriate and I responded a tad emotionally.
"I play with aggression on the field and I try not to cross that line and it has been in the past that I have sort of been fiery. But I don’t think whatsoever there on the field that I have ever crossed that line.
"That’s how I play my cricket. I live by the sword and die by the sword, so I’ll keep playing with that energy and making sure I am the voice in the team to keep our guys motivated on the field, that’s for sure.”
In a tense first Test Warner also came under scrutiny for his wild celebration to the run out of AB de Villiers in South Africa's second innings, delivering a fierce verbal spray in the direction of the other batsman involved in the mid-pitch confusion, Aiden Markram.
There was no sanction from match referee Jeff Crowe over that episode and Warner defended his conduct.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. For me, it was a key moment in that game," he said.
"The way we celebrate or other people celebrate should never be questioned, I don’t think. We were excited, it was a big moment in the game.
"He’s one of the best players to ever play the game and to get him out with a guy at the other end who hasn’t really played much Test match cricket, we’re going to celebrate those moments."