Vernon Philander has said his Twitter account was hacked, after an inflammatory tweet was posted on his account, accusing Steven Smith of being equally culpable in the shoulder brush that led to Kagiso Rabada getting banned for the remaining two Tests against Australia.
"Good morning all my tweeps. Waking up this morning to a lot of twitter craziness as my account got hacked and someone posted a nice little article on my behalf," Philander said on Twitter on Thursday morning. "Sorry for all the drama or entertainment caused by the looks of it. Have a great day all."
The earlier tweet, which has now been deleted from his account, on Wednesday night appeared to further stoke the tensions between South Africa and Australia in what has been a bad-tempered series.
In that tweet, a partial clipping of the shoulder-brush incident was posted along with the following text: "Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder. He could have avoided any contact but to me he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didn't dive to top it off."
The incident occurred on the first day of the second Test in Port Elizabeth. While celebrating his successful lbw appeal against Smith, Rabada got close to the batsman while yelling "Yes, yes, yes" and then his shoulder made contact with that of Smith, who had held his course. Rabada was charged with a Level 2 offence by the ICC - which he contested saying the contact was unintentional - and handed three demerit points, which meant his accumulated demerit points amounted to eight and resulted in a two-Test ban.
Rabada has appealed against the Level 2 sanction and there remains the possibility that he might yet play the third Test at Newlands if the punishment is suspended during the appeal process.
That wasn't the end of Rabada's problems during the second Test though. He was charged with a Level 1 offence for his send-off to David Warner, after he bowled the Australian batsman in the second innings in Port Elizabeth. Rabada was hit with one demerit point for that infraction, taking his tally to nine points.
The Rabada-Smith episode in the second Test added to the bad-tempered nature of the series, after Warner and Quinton de Kock were at the centre of a controversy in Durban. Warner was caught on CCTV shouting at de Kock in the stairwell at Kingsmead, as the players went to their dressing room for tea on the fourth day of the match. Warner claimed de Kock had said something personal about his wife, while South Africa claimed Warner had got personal first. Warner accepted his Level 2 charge and got three demerit points, and de Kock was given one demerit point after contesting his Level 1 charge.