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Australia to use Vernon Philander’s ‘hacked’ tweet for on-field sledging

Cameron Bancroft said Vernon Philander’s ‘hacked’ Twitter account will help Australia get into South Africa’s head during the third Test in Cape Town, starting Thursday (March 22).

cricket Updated: Mar 19, 2018 17:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Vernon Philander,Cameron Bancroft,Kagiso Rabada
Vernon Philander had made it clear that his Twitter account was hacked after an inflammatory message was posted suggesting Australian captain Steve Smith could have avoided an incident that resulted in Kagiso Rabada being suspended.(BCCI )

Australian cricket team opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has warned that South African seamer Vernon Philander’s ‘hacked’ tweet content will be used by the visitors for on-field sledging, as the two teams resume their rivalry at Cape Town, with the third Test starting Thursday (March 22).

In the first two Tests of an intense four-match series so far, both Australia and South Africa have won a match each and head into the Port Elizabeth Test looking to extend their advantage.

(Read | Brett Lee defends Kagiso Rabada, says ‘don’t want to see robots on the field’)

The first two Tests were marred by several controversies, with players from both teams penalised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaching its Code of Conduct.

In a tweet that appeared on Philander’s Twitter page, the South Africa seamer blamed the Australian captain Steve Smith for ‘trying football skills to get a penalty’ and he was ‘just as guilty’ as Kagiso Rabada for their shoulder brush during the second Test at Port Elizabeth.

(Read | England’s Stuart Broad ready for fresh start with reworked action)

Rabada was handed a two-match suspension after he was found guilty for breaching ICC’s Code of Conduct, and the 22-year-old later on took complete responsibility for his actions.

(Read | South Africa call up Duanne Olivier, Chris Morris for final two Australia Tests)

However, the following morning Philander claimed his Twitter account was hacked and he had nothing to do with the controversial tweet.

Bancroft, meanwhile, on Monday said Philander will now have to deal with the consequences of his tweet.

He was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo, “If our banter is anything like it has gone this series I’m sure it will be brought up at some stage to get under someone’s nerves. That’s boys being boys playing cricket. Who can hurt someone’s feelings the most. It seems to be a bit that way.”

“We saw the tweet. It was obviously quite popular there for a little while. I can’t really comment. I don’t know if he wrote it or if his account was hacked or not. I can’t really say for him. That’s his opinion, isn’t it, and he’s got to deal with the consequences of that now, not us,” the right-handed opening batsman added.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 17:55 IST