South Africa apologise to Australia on Sonny Bill Williams mask incident

South Africa apologise to Australia on Sonny Bill Williams mask incident

The photograph, taken on the first day of the second test in Port Elizabeth on Friday, shows Cricket South Africa's commercial and marketing head, Clive Eksteen, and communications head Altaaf Kazi standing and smiling with three men wearing masks with the face of New Zealand rugby worldwide Sonny Bill Williams.

The masks were brought into the ground by some spectators as a way of trying to ridicule Warner, whose wife Candice had a well-known encounter with Williams in 2007, years before she met the Australian vice-captain.

Eksteen is CSA's head of commercial and marketing, while Kazi is the body's head of communications.

Cricket Australia reacted furiously to this photograph: "Cricket Australia spoke to Cricket South Africa officials yesterday to express disappointment with this matter and events that unfolded off-field Friday at St George's Park", a CA spokesperson said. The masks have since been banned again.

Meanwhile, the option is open for CA to call on the ICC in order to lay a charge, as its code of conduct covers the use of "language or gesture (s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature" to players during an global match.

It was earlier reported that fans planning to attend the second test in Port Elizabeth were preparing by making Sonny Bill Williams masks to taunt Warner.

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Cricket writer and commentator Gideon Haigh has implored CA to take such action. "And I would kind of hope James Sutherland would do that", Haigh told ABC's Offsiders program.

This comes fresh from the controversy of the previous Test match, in which a fight broke out after a remark about Warner's wife by Quinton de Kock.

CSA said Eksteen and Kazi were now subject to "internal processes".

"CSA has taken immediate precautionary steps against the officials allegedly involved in this incident", the statement read.

There have been repercussions for Nathan Lyon and Kagiso Rabada, a foul-mouthed dispute between De Kock and and Warner, ball tampering allegations, and now this.

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