South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been fined by the ICC for his involvement in the Durban stairwell incident with Australia vice-captain David Warner.
De Kock and Warner were both charged by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe for bringing the game into disrepute after they were locked in a heated altercation in the stairwell leading up to the players’ dressing room on day four at Kingsmead.
While Warner was charged with a Level 2 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct – a sanction he accepted on Wednesday that saw him fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points – de Kock was hit with a Level 1 breach.
De Kock admitted the offence but appealed the sanction at a hearing with Crowe on Wednesday night before he was fined 25 per cent of his match fee and given one demerit point.
CCTV footage emerged on Sunday night showing Warner and de Kock trading verbal barbs before the Australian had to physically restrained by his teammates.
The incident was allegedly sparked by de Kock after the gloveman made derogatory comments about the Warner’s wife.
While the Proteas camp are adamant Warner got personal when sledging de Kock in the lead-up to the confrontation, Paine called the hosts' claims "completely false".
"We were trying to make it an uncomfortable place for Quinton to bat, no doubt, but we didn't cross the line," Paine told reporters in Port Elizabeth.
"We spoke about cricket stuff and a few little things with his fitness.
"At no stage was Quinton’s family mentioned, that’s 100 per cent false.
"I don’t know how their team manager can hear from where he’s sitting but from where I was, which was right near the whole time, there was nothing we said that was inappropriate.
"Our stuff is the way we’ve always played our cricket. Certainly it’s hard, and we like to make them feel uncomfortable out there.
"But we don’t cross the line and bring people’s wives and family into the cricket game.
"And we’ll continue to do that for as long as we play."
Before the footage was revealed and the incident known to the public, South Africa opener Aiden Markram – who was batting with de Kock before tea – said the Australian sledging "never really gets out of line", a comment that appears at odds with what his captain Faf du Plessis after Australia’s 118-run win at Kingsmead.
Du Plessis said on Monday: "All I've heard is there was a lot of personal stuff on the field already, to and from (both sides)."
But Markram appeared fine with the on-field banter between the sides.
"Obviously, it’s natural when you play against the Australians that there’s a lot of chatter on the field," Markram said at stumps on day four, after the Warner-de Kock incident.
"Something that I certainly don’t mind, something that keeps me in the game and keeps me going, keeps me motivated.
"And it never really gets out of line either, not a lot of swearing or things like that happen.
"There are a few here and there but it’s not the end of the world.
"I believe it’s part of the game. It’s how the should be played, nice and hard, and makes success that bit more rewarding."
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
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 St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13. Live coverage
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage