Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has distanced itself from the action of two officials in associating themselves with fans wearing masks representing the face of Sonny Bill Williams during the opening day of the second Test match at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Cricket South Africa distanced itself from the action of the officials, marketing manager Clive Eksteen and communications manager Altaaf Kazi.
The masks were likely worn to taunt Australian opener David Warner, whose wife had an encounter with Williams in 2007 before meeting Warner.
There have been calls on social media for spectators to wear the masks following a row between Warner and South Africa's Quinton de Kock during the first Test, which Warner claimed was sparked when De Kock insulted his wife.
In a media statement released on Saturday, CSA said it "respects the rights of its fans to represent their own points of view, but does not associate itself with these actions and urged all Proteas supporters to from refraining from being involved in distasteful or unwelcome actions that may impact the image of the sport and its supporters".
CSA has taken immediate precautionary steps against the CSA officials involved in this incident and will follow the organisation's normal internal processes in this regard.
"On behalf of CSA I extend my sincere apologies to the Board of Cricket Australia (CA), its officials, team management, players and their families," commented CSA President Chris Nenzani.