England’s Jos Buttler has apologised for his sledging of South Africa’s Vernon Philander in the Cape Town Test, blaming “a bit of red mist”.
Buttler was keeping wicket during the tourists’ dramatic fifth day victory when Philander’s apparent unwillingness to move out the way of a throw appeared to get under his skin.
The reaction was blunt, colourful and not exactly safe for a family audience, with Buttler swearing at Philander as well as appearing to mock his girth.
Buttler was subsequently charged under the International Cricket Council’s disciplinary code, earning one demerit point and losing 15% of his match fee, around £2,500.
Speaking to Test Match Special after England trained at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, venue for Thursday’s third Test, Buttler said: “I’d like to apologise, I understand that’s not the way to behave. As role models we have a duty to behave in a certain way.
“In Test cricket there are lots of high emotions at times and things can be said that don’t necessarily mean anything, but for viewers at home it can come across very poorly. Sometimes it’s just one of those things, the heat of the moment and a bit of red mist.
“It’s all done so hopefully it can be swept under the carpet and we move on. I’ll take the slap on the wrists.”
As for the issue of stump mics and when they should be turned up, Buttler has sympathy with both sides of the debate.
“It’s a tough one, we understand it adds to the viewership experience having stump mics and being able to hear what goes on but we also like that what goes on the field stays on the field and isn’t necessarily heard by everyone at home,” he added.
“I’m sure it’s up for debate.”
England trained without captain Joe Root, absent with an upset stomach. They will hope that does not signal another bout of sickess in camp, after 11 players and six members of the backroom staff fell ill earlier in the tour.
“It’s obviously a frustration, nobody will miss being at training more than Joe,” said Buttler.
“It’s been a bit of a story of the tour so far, guys getting ill, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. Hopefully it’s just today.”