Qantas Tour of South Africa
Aussie coach blasts 'disgraceful' crowd
Australia coach hits out at home crowd after day two in Cape Town
Sam Ferris at Newlands, Cape Town
24 March 2018, 04:17 AM AEST
Cricket Australia has lodged an official complaint in relation to “disgraceful” taunts by the Newlands spectators regarding the wives and families of Australia’s players.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann fronted the media after play to express his disgust at the behaviour of the Cape Town crowd that saw three fans ejected on day one and a further nine on Friday for abusing Australian players, including one patron who berated vice-captain David Warner face-to-face as he made his way from the field.
The Cape Town Test falls under CA’s player-partner period, with a majority of the loved ones who have made the trip attending the match over the past two days.
Lehmann said CA has written to Cricket South Africa and hopes action will be taken.
"I think it's been disgraceful,” Lehmann said of the crowd behaviour.
“You're talking about abuse of various players and their families and personal abuse, it's not on at a cricket ground anywhere around the world, not just here, it shouldn't happen.
“You can have the banter, that's fine, banter is good-natured, fun by crowds but they've gone too far here.
“We've written to Cricket South Africa, Cricket Australia have done that, we'll see their response, but it's been poor.
“We'll see what happens, hopefully something.”
When asked if he'd ever experienced crowd behaviour like that seen on day two, Lehmann said: "Not on this level.”
“We accept it all around the world, but as soon as they cross the line and they talk about players' families the whole time and getting abused like that, it's just not on.
“There's been various incidents throughout the Test series but this one has taken the cake."
Lehmann confirmed the patron that confronted Warner said personal comments to the opener after he was dismissed for a whirlwind 14-ball 30 by Proteas spearhead Kagiso Rabada.
Warner showed the restraint he promised he’d employ when faced with a similar situation to the one in the Kingsmead stairwell involving South Africa gloveman Quinton de Kock.
Warner was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points to his disciplinary record, and while he said he regretted letting his emotions get the better of him, he would always stick up for his family.
The captivating series, that stands at one-all with the third Test in the balance after two exhilarating days, has been marred by sledging, wild wicket celebrations and the Rabada-Steve Smith collision saga that has taken the focus away from the game.
But Lehmann says the rivalry between the two nations has spilled over the boundary and it must be stopped.
"There's always going to be banter, as long as it doesn't get personal, but it has gone too far with the crowd here and they've got to be better than that when they're coming to international arenas to watch a game of two quality sides playing against each other,” Lehmann said.
“They go hard on the ground, there's no doubt about that, but off the ground you don't expect that when you're leaving the ground or you're having a go at someone's family. It's just disgraceful.”
Spectators throughout the series and more prominently at Newlands have been seen wearing offensive masks and shirts, handing out song sheets with derogatory lyrics and holding up antagonising signage.
Two CSA employees were stood down after posing with fans wearing inappropriate masks in Port Elizabeth, but Australian fans through the years have not been perfect either.
In Hobart in 2016, a spectator called Proteas veteran Hashim Amla a “terrorist” and was banned for three years, while 11 years earlier South Africa quick Makhaya Ntini complained of racial abuse in Perth.
"That's not good enough from an Australian crowd point of view either,” Lehmann said when asked about the poor behaviour of Australian fans at home in the past.
“We've just got to get better at watching the game of cricket, actually supporting both teams generally, and that's something that both boards have got to get around."
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard
Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage