David Warner and Quinton de Kock during their staircase stoush in Durban in 2018.
David Warner and Quinton de Kock during their staircase stoush in Durban in 2018.

Warner will NOT be clearing air with SA star de Kock

DAVID Warner has no intention of clearing the air with Quinton de Kock after their stairwell stoush during Australia's last visit to South Africa, but both men have played down the likelihood of tensions reigniting between the two nations.

Warner and de Kock delivered one of the ugliest moments of a bitter Test series in 2018 when they squared off on a staircase after play in Durban.

The confrontation was sparked by de Kock making a derogatory comment about Warner's wife, Candice, and her tryst with Sonny Bill Williams more than a decade earlier.

Warner described the sledge as "vile and disgusting", and the debacle was made worse in Port Elizabeth when a number of fans - and two Cricket South Africa officials - were photographed wearing Williams face masks.

Warner said he hadn't spoken to de Kock since the heated 2018 series.

"Obviously we'll cross paths playing against each other, 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," Warner told reporters in Johannesburg.

"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."

A hostile capacity crowd is forecast for the T20 series-opener at the Wanderers on Friday night (Saturday morning AEDT), Warner and Steve Smith's first match in South Africa since the Cape Town ball-tampering saga that earned them 12-month suspensions.

Warner isn't expecting a repeat of the hostilities during the tour, which also includes a return to Newlands for the final T20 followed by three ODIs.

Nonetheless, he says the shame will be on South Africa fans should they go down the route of targeting him and his wife again.

"It was poor. From my behalf, it's about moving forward. If people want to go to the game and carry on like that, then it's upon them," he said.

"And they've got to look at themselves in the mirror and if they want to act like that, so be it.

"It doesn't bother me, but it shows (badly on them). They're representing their country as well. They're spectators watching a game of cricket. I'm pretty sure you don't want to be walking away here with the teams criticising the way (South Africa's) fans are acting. It's up to them."

Wicketkeeper-batsman de Kock - now South Africa's captain after replacing longtime incumbent Faf du Plessis across all formats - said he expected the series to be played in the right spirit.

"I think me and (Warner) have moved on from there anyway," he said. "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."

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