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South African officials charged over Williams masks

10 March 2018

The second Test between Australia and South Africa at Port Elizabeth has reached a new low off the pitch with Proteas' fans allowed into the venue wearing Sonny Bill Williams' masks in an attempt to aggravate David Warner.

The officials in the photograph are reportedly Clive Eksteen, CSA's commercial and marketing boss, and Altaaf Kazi, CSA's head of communications. Also, the CSA president Chris Nenzani apologised the Australians.

On Saturday morning, CSA distanced itself from Friday's events and said that it would follow "normal internal processes" in investigating the actions of Eksteen and Kazi.

During the course of play on the first day, a couple of CSA executives were photographed with the fans wearing masks, which indirectly related to the spat between Warner and De Kock.

It is understood the International Cricket Council would be unlikely to sanction Eksteen and Kazi itself, with disciplinary measures likely to be left to CSA.

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CSA was forced to do some serious damage control on Saturday.

"On behalf of CSA I extend my honest apologies to the Board of Cricket Australia, its officials, team management, players and their families", CSA President Chris Nenzani was quoted as sating by ESPNcricinfo.

In an effort to rile Warner, some fans wore masks of rugby player Sonny Bill Williams, who had a well-known drunken encounter with Warner's wife Candice in the bathroom of a Sydney pub in 2007.

Relations between the two teams had already become strained following the acrimonious first test in Durban last week and they threatened to deteriorate even further with the latest unsavoury episode.

According to Fairfax Media, the Australian camp were aware of the masks going into the first day of the Test, and asked that they be banned. However, CSA has now released a statement over the matter clearing that they want to distance themselves from the officials.

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The ugly prank created to anger and humiliate the Warners was an appalling reference to Candice Warner's well-publicised association with rugby star Williams way back in 2007.

Contacted on Friday night, Kazi admitted CSA had made the decision to tell security to let the fans in with the masks.

THE Proteas and the Australian cricket team may have agreed to a ceasefire ahead of the second Test match in Port Elizabeth - but fans at St George's Park clearly didn't get the memo.

"Initially, security wouldn't let them in", Kazi said.

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South African officials charged over Williams masks