England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is likely to be fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after a stump microphone picked up a foul-mouthed tirade launched at Vernon Philander during the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.
Buttler was heard calling Philander a ‘f***ing k***head’ as the second Test began building up to a tense finish.
Broadcasters apologised for the incident and all eyes are now on the ICC to see whether or not they will take action, considering they have strict rules in place to prevent this sort of thing.
Punishment for this sort of unsportsmanlike behaviour usually amounts to a fine of part of the player’s match fee and a demerit point for a level one breach of the ICC’s Code of Conduct.
While the sport’s governing body usually relies on the on-field officials to determine whether a fine is warranted, there have been cases where incidents caught by television cameras have led to repercussions.
The now infamous Sandpapergate saga – the ball-tampering fiasco that engulfed Australia when they toured South Africa – is the most prominent example.
Buttler does not currently have any demerit points, though, meaning even the maximum punishment won’t see him miss the next Test which begins in Port Elizabeth on 16 January.
The reaction from the two teams has been somewhat mixed. Visiting captain Joe Root played down the exchange.
‘I don’t think it was anything serious,’ Root said after England won late on the fifth day. ‘It was just two guys playing hard Test cricket.
‘Emotions were running quite high and I don’t think anyone overstepped the mark. You want a bit of spice on the TV anyway, don’t you?’
Pace ace Dale Steyn, meanwhile, Tweeted: “Well, that was loud and clear”.
The series is level at 1-1 with two matches left to play.