Quinton de Kock, South Africa's limited-overs wicketkeeper batsman, could miss some of the one-day series against New Zealand pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
De Kock, 20, and Cobras captain Justin Ontong will appear in front of a disciplinary commissioner "as soon as possible" according to Cricket South Africa after an altercation between de Kock and Alistair Gray, when the Cobras were fielding during their first-class match last week.
Allegedly, de Kock pushed Gray after the umpires, Brian Jerling and Shaun George, changed the ball because they believed "the conditions of the ball had been altered" by the Cobras after 20 overs in the Lions second innings. De Kock was batting at the time and in accordance with protocol was asked to choose a replacement ball.
The Cobras were reportedly unhappy with his choice because he selected a ball which was much older than the original one. Words were exchanged, following which there was a slight scuffle. The Lions won the match by eight wickets and lie third in the table while the Cobras remain at the top, despite the defeat.
De Kock will appear in front of the commissioner on charges over his role in pushing an opposition player, while Ontong will face charges of ball tampering which the Cobras have denied. The ball itself will be sent away for tests to determine whether it was damaged in any way.
If found guilty, de Kock will be banned for two matches which could rule him out of the first two ODIs in the series which starts in Paarl on Saturday. The second fixture takes place in Kimberley on Tuesday with the last match to be played in Potchefstroom on January 25. Should de Kock be ruled out, AB de Villiers will have to don the wicketkeeping gloves despite his plea to rest his chronically bad back.