Cricket Australia's chief James Sutherland has implored his players show more respect to the opposition in the wake of a spate of ugly incidents that marred Australia's victory in the first Test versus South Africa in Durban
David Warner was fined 75 per cent of his match-fee and handed three demerit points after CCTV footage emerged of him being held back by teammates as he engaged in a heated argument with South Africa's Quinton de Kock as the players made their way to the dressing rooms during the tea break on day four.
David Warner is no stranger to confrontations both on and off the field, having infamously punched England batsman Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham after an Ashes Test in 2013.
But, Warner has claimed that De Kock made a disturbing personal slur aimed at the former's wife, Candice. But personal insults have purported to be dished out by both sides as the first Test ended in controversy.
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon was also fined for his unsporting reaction to AB de Villiers' run-out early on day four.
Sutherland said he fully supported the punishments of his players and praised match referee Jeff Crowe for his handling of a 'difficult situation'.
"CA has reminded the team of the standards of behaviour expected of players representing Australia," he said.
"This includes the need to be respectful of opponents, and CA [Cricket Australia] expects this to be observed by players at all times.
"Unfortunately neither team met this standard in Durban. The Australian team understands that fans expect better."
Sutherland added that Australia has always prided itself on being extremely competitive and this would not change.
''CA is confident that what occurred in Durban will remain an aberration," he continued.
"Under the period of the current team leadership, Australian players have received fewer sanctions under the ICC Code of Conduct than players from the majority of the nine top-ranked Test playing nations.
"CA is confident that the rest of the series in South Africa will be remembered for enthralling cricket played in the right spirit by both teams."
The incident has brought into question the use of 'sledging', trying to get in the head of the opposition, as a mode of on the field aggression and how it perhaps distorts the 'line' which can and can't be crossed.
While opposing captains Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith agreed that it was both their's and the umpire's responsibility to see no further spats, they continued to disagree on what sparked the Warner-De Kock incident, with both camps claiming the other made personal insults.