Cape Town, March 16
South African seamer Vernon Philander has said 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.
Fast bowler Rabada made contact with Smith’s shoulder after dismissing him in the first innings of the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
He was later found guilty of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player” by ICC and will miss the rest of the four-match series.
The tweet, which had a video clip of the incident attached, said Smith was equally guilty and had milked the incident. “Haven’t really seen the footage of this incident but by the looks of this … Steve Smith gave Kagiso Rabada the shoulder,” it said.
“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.” Early on Thursday, however, Philander distanced himself from the comment, saying someone else had posted to his 185,000 followers.
“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,” he posted after deleting the original message.
“Sorry for all the drama or entertainment caused by the looks of it,” he said.
The episode is the latest twist in a tempestuous Test series that has seen five players punished by the ICC. The third match in the series, which is level at 1-1, starts in Cape Town on March 22.