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Is sledging an inevitable feature of Australian cricket culture?

Members of the Australian cricket side restrain David Warner as the team breaks for tea on day four of the first Test against South Africa

Cricket Australia is investigating an incident involving Vice-captain David Warner, after CCTV footage showed an off-field confrontation with South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock.The footage shows Warner being restrained by teammates while remonstrating with de Kock after a reported sledging incident

Star Australian batsman David Warner has been involved before in off-field incidents.

Warner was suspended in 2013 for punching England captain Joe Root, and has spent time since repairing his public image.

In the latest incident, CCTV video shows a confrontation with South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock during a tea break.

Reports in the media are suggesting Warner's behaviour was in response to a so-called sledging incident on-field.

The reports say de Kock made derogatory comments about Warner's wife, while South African players claim Warner had already made unflattering references to de Kock's mother and sister.

Australian captain Steve Smith has characterised the behaviour by players from both teams as "regrettable".

"What was said and done during that interval was regrettable on both sides. I think those things are not on, from both sides. Getting personal on the field is not on (not acceptable), that's crossing the line in my opinion."

Cricket Australia has confirmed it's investigating the incident.

Former Australian spin bowler Brad Hogg has told Fox Sports Warner needs to work on keeping his emotions in check.

"If he's going to be a future leader he's got to be able to control his emotions. I don't care what's said out in the middle, you've got to be able to control those emotions and take the required steps off the field to sort it out - but not the way we've seen it now. It's not a good look for the game."

It's not the first time Australian cricketers have been accused of being overly-aggressive.

Verbal intimidation, otherwise known as "sledging", has long been a feature of Australian cricket.

South African captain Faf du Plessis says Australia's reputation precedes it.

"Every single match that I've played against Australia you expect it, so I'm certainly not sitting here complaining about it. It's the way we play our cricket against them. We expect it. For me, that's not a surprise.

Australian cricketers have featured in some notorious incidents involving opposition players over the years.

Some have included champions of the game such as Pakistan's Javed Miandad, the West Indies' Curtly Ambrose and India's Harbhajan Singh.

Despite the history, Steve Smith says there's no problem with the sport's culture in Australia.

"I think that's the way we play our best cricket, when we're aggressive, we're in the fight together, we're hunting as a pack and we're working for each other and backing our mates up on the field. That's part of being an Australian, in my opinion."

In the wake of the latest Warner incident, former South African cricket captain Graeme [GRAY-um] Smith has told the Cricket Network the onus is on individuals to be responsible for their actions.

"A lot of it is about managing individuals and getting them under control, and also the individual himself really knowing the responsibility he has to the game and the way that he plays it. When South Africa plays Australia you expect it to be hard, you expect it to be competitive. But I think it's the personal stuff that no-one enjoys. I think it's really just unnecessary."

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