South Africa’s Du Plessis still doesn’t have time for ‘Bully’ Warner

Happier times – South Africa’s then captain Faf du Plessis (C) shakes hands with Australian David Warner (L) after the third Test in Adelaide in November 2016. Du Plessis called Warner ” tyrant” for his role in a locker room row two years later

Pierre PARKS

Text size

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has said he has no time to waste on ‘bullying’ Australian David Warner.

In an interview with the BBC coinciding with the recent publication of his book, ‘Faf: Through Fire’, Du Plessis recalled the Australian drummer’s role in a now infamous incident at the first Test in Durban in 2018.

At tea on the fourth day, with South Africa’s Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock at bat to save the Test, Warner began hurling a volley of abuse at De Kock in the players’ tunnel.

Du Plessis, already fired, emerged from the home locker room wearing only a towel wrapped around his waist and helped cool tempers.

Australia won the game by 118 points.

But it would be South Africa who would take the series, which would see Warner, Australian captain Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft all banned for their roles in the ‘Sandpapergate’ ball tampering controversy in the third Test, 3 -1 in a highlight of Du Plessis’ four-year tenure as skipper.

“Australia wanted to bully us,” Du Plessis, 38, told the BBC as he reflected on the Durban game.

“We had to defend ourselves. They abused us the whole game, but the way we fought back turned the streak upside down.”

And while he had some sympathy for the impressionable Bancroft and admiration for the talented Smith, there was no such goodwill towards Warner.

“He was a bully,” Du Plessis said. “I don’t have time for bullies.”

But Du Plessis, who scored more than 4,000 runs, including 10 hundreds, in 69 Tests at an average of 40 before ending his international red-ball career last year, did not try to shirk his role in other controversial incidents.

There was ‘Zipgate’ – when he was found guilty of rubbing the bullet in the zipper of his trousers against Pakistan in 2013 – and ‘Mintgate’ – an incident in 2016 against Australia where he was seen applying saliva from a mint on the ball.

“I’m not perfect,” he said. “I never claimed to be. I was never the most talented player.

“Yes, I have talent, but it’s hard work and mental toughness that got me where I am.”

But the drummer insisted it was a “failure story”, adding: “I wanted to write a book about leadership, about relationships, about struggle… I was a person filled with doubts and insecurities. And that’s okay.”

About Mitchel McMillan

Check Also

Allu Arjun and Sneha Reddy prepare to attend a wedding in South Africa. See the pictures

Allu Arjun and his wife Sneha Reddy are making the most of their time in …