March 24, 2018

South Africa apologise to Australia on Sonny Bill Williams mask incident

14 March 2018, 06:14 | Marlene Fleming

Cricket: South African officials face action over Sonny Bill Williams masks

South African Officials Under Fire For Posing With Fans Wearing Sonny Bill Williams Masks

The two officials posing with fans in the masks have been identified as Cricket South Africa's head of commercial and marketing Clive Eksteen and head of communications Altaaf Kazi.

Two Cricket South Africa executives have been photographed at the second Test posing alongside spectators wearing Sonny Bill Williams masks, worn as a ploy to taunt Australian opener and vice-captain David Warner.

Williams, of course, is a Rugby player from New Zealand and the same man with whom Warner's wife Candice had an infamous toilet tryst in a Sydney bar 11 years ago, much before she met the Aussie vice-captain.

He is now a figure of hate in South Africa after his confrontation with South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock in a fractious first test in Durban last weekend.

"CSA has taken immediate precautionary steps against the CSA officials allegedly involved in this incident and will follow the organisation's normal internal processes in this regard", a statement read.

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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, its officials, team management, players and their families", CSA President Chris Nenzani was quoted as sating by ESPNcricinfo.

Warner and de Kock were both fined after their ugly bust-up in Durban and the two teams have been warned by the match referee to keep their tempers in check. While the songs were not heard at St George's Park, the masks were seen but only after CSA officials had to intervene to allow mask-wearing fans into the stadium.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo shortly after the story broke last night, Kazi admitted it was "one of the worst judgment calls I have made", and expressed regret over his actions.

If they both do not go, then it is surely a sign that cricket is losing its class. "They said "let's take a photo with you guys", revealed Kazi.

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