Australia vice-captain David Warner has claimed that "vile and disgusting" personal remarks from South Africa's Quinton de Kock sparked the ugly altercation between the pair that was captured by CCTV cameras during the first Test in Durban.
Both players were sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after video footage from a stairwell leading into the players' dressing rooms appeared to show Warner being restrained by his teammates during a spat with De Kock.
Warner accepted a Level 2 offence and was fined 75% of his match fee by the ICC over the incident, but avoided a one-Test ban.
De Kock contested his charge of a Level 1 offence but was fined 25% of his match fee.
Warner said he had been provoked by a sledge from De Kock about his wife and denied that he had been the instigator of the confrontation between the pair.
"I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators and I'm used to that and it doesn't bother me," the Australia opener was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au.
"But in a proximity of my personal space and from behind me, a comment that was vile and disgusting about my wife, and in general about a lady, was quite poor I felt.
"My emotional response was just something that I don't believe should have been said and I'll always stick up for my family and in that case my teammates as well."
Warner denied that he would have gotten into a physical confrontation with De Kock if his teammates had not intervened to defuse the situation.
"I would have liked him to actually say the comment a little bit louder instead of just muttering it under his breath next to me and Tim Paine and then walking up the stairs and saying 'I didn't say anything' as soon as the rest of his team came out," he said.
"At the end of the day, we're all men and if you're going to say something you look at someone in the eye and say it."
Australia won the Durban Test by 118 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The second Test gets underway in Port Elizabeth on March 9.