Herschelle Gibbs sparked a Proteas Twitter spat on Friday by criticising South Africa captain Faf du Plessis for defending the indefinite absence from Test cricket of AB de Villiers.
De Villiers has not played a Test since January 2016 and announced at the start of this year that he will be taking an indefinite break from the longest format in order to concentrate on white-ball cricket.
Du Plessis this week stated he does not expect his predecessor to return to the Test arena, adding that he has "earned the right to do whatever he wants to".
That stance on De Villiers' future following a 3-1 series loss in England did not go down well with former Proteas opening batsman Gibbs.
He tweeted a picture of a story about Du Plessis's views on De Villiers and wrote: "Interesting article this..captain putting a player on a pedestal! Never thought I'd see this..
"[Jacques] Kallis achieved more than ab ever will but he kept on playing and never disrespected the team and the game remember that.
"Kallis achieved more than ab ever will, played longer than him to [sic]..he made his decision to retire on his own not keep anybody hanging."
Interesting article this..captain putting a player on a pedestal! Never thought I'd see this..anyway pic.twitter.com/F6u17j0sVD— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) August 11, 2017
When one user suggested that administrators may feel the need to handle players differently now, Gibbs wrote: "Has nothing to with administrators..that's the national captain speaking! Did [former captain Graeme] smith ever say kallis could do that? and he achieved more."
Ex-South Africa batsman and former national team selector Ashwell Prince replied to his former team-mate Gibbs by tweeting: "Ridiculous statement @hershybru just wondering at which point then @amlahash [Hashim Amla] will be allowed to do what he wants. Soon it's free for al [sic].
"He, [Graeme] Smith did recently say AB could do whatever he wants to. There must be a tipping point where players become bigger than the nation."
Former South Africa spinner Paul Harris weighed in by questioning why Prince was "always looking for a fight", stating that the former batsman and Gibbs should phone De Villiers rather than criticise him on social media.
Prince responded with: "Didn't hear you say that when both Biff and Faf hung Vern out to dry in public did I? Some #proteafire they've got going there," he added, referring to Du Plessis questioning the fitness of bowler Vernon Philander.
Essex's South African spinner Simon Harmer posted: "Someone needs to get the chip off @ashyp_5's shoulder...", to which Prince replied: "Oh wow! Love it when true colors come out. In case you didn't realize, it's 2017, everyone's entitled to an opinion. But we understand."
|Bellamy backs Coutinho´s Barcelona wish as Liverpool reportedly reject new £114m bid|
|Rooney deserves more credit, says record Everton signing Sigurdsson|
|Allegri challenges Dybala: I want an extraordinary season|
|Vuelta a Espana: History-hunter Froome no longer the sacrificial lamb|
|Boateng completes Frankfurt move|
|Burke one of many Crystal Palace targets, reveals De Boer|
|Guardiola offers sympathies to ´beautiful´ Barcelona|
|Keizer expects Tottenham target Sanchez to leave Ajax|
|PCB refutes ´baseless´ Umar Akmal allegations|
|Neymar ´one more player´ for PSG boss Emery|
|Vuelta a Espana: Retiring Contador´s career in Opta facts|
|Chelsea boss Conte envious of Tottenham´s foundation|
|Evans is a West Brom player - No transfer plea from Man City boss Guardiola|
|Bakayoko in contention for hasty Chelsea debut at Spurs|
|Manchester United are no dream team, warns Mourinho|
|Jose Mourinho accepts defeat in hunt for fourth Manchester United signing|
|Pochettino wants four Tottenham signings before transfer window closes|
|Kayode loaned to Girona after joining Manchester City|
|Conte bursts out laughing over Costa´s ´criminal´ treatment claim|
|Costa: Chelsea return would not be fair situation|
|Juventus boss Allegri sees ´five or six´ teams in Scudetto race|
|Broncos battle to dent Dragons´ play-off ambitions|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid hold minute´s silence for Las Ramblas victims|
|Diego Costa is not an Atletico player - Simeone unmoved on Chelsea star|
|Costa accuses Chelsea of pricing him out of Atletico Madrid move|
|Armstrong signs new Cetlic deal to end speculation|
|Serie A 2017-18: Ambitious AC Milan set sights on Juventus dominance|
|Frankfurt medical for Boateng after Las Palmas exit|
|Castro shocked by Dembele as Dortmund star pushes for Barcelona move|
|Australia v New Zealand: Everything you need to know|
|Defoe pushing for start against Watford|
|Jese Rodriguez set to make Stoke debut against Arsenal|
|Read defends All Blacks security guard cleared over ´bug-gate´|
|West Brom don´t need to sell Evans - Pulis responds to Manchester City bid|
|Matic in Chelsea dig: Manchester United are definitely bigger|
|Serie A 2017-18: Shock signing Bonucci, Juve star Dybala - five stars to watch|
|Bilic ´sure´ Liverpool target Lanzini is staying at West Ham|
|Starc rested from India tour with Ashes in mind|
|Bailly: Manchester United will prove world-class status this season|
|Nationals owner Lerner has leg amputated amid cancer battle|
|Rockies´ Blackmon leads a night of bizarre accomplishments|
|Wallabies captain Hooper dreaming of Bledisloe Cup success|
|Halep cruises, Muguruza saves match points as rain washes out play|
|Thiem, Dimitrov reach quarters in rainy Cincinnati|
|Klopp: No reason to leave Liverpool as Barca eye Coutinho|
|Montella happy with Milan progress|
|LeBron shows off new Goodyear Cavs jersey|
|United signing Matic from Chelsea a masterstroke - Robson|
|Durant: Irving situation not the end of the world for Cavs|
|Milan in ´advanced´ talks to sign Kalinic, Fassone tight-lipped on Ibrahimovic|
|Mayweather says he´s going ´straight ahead´ at McGregor|
|Centurion Root hails ´ruthless´ England after first day-night Test|
|Every sets early pace at Wyndham Championship|
|Barcelona to honour terror victims in LaLiga opener|
|Europa League Review: AC Milan on fire, Athletic Bilbao in stirring comeback and Fenerbahce suffer s|
|We were lucky - Koeman frustrated by Everton´s second-half struggle|
|DeMaurice Smith says NFL work stoppage in 2021 ´a virtual certainty´|
|Carroll hails Britt as center signs new three-year deal with Seahawks|
|Bonucci revels in ´wonderful´ San Siro bow as AC Milan destroy Shkendija|
|Classy Castleford secure League Leaders´ Shield|
|Everton 2 Hajduk Split 0: Keane opens account in comfortable Europa League win|
|AC Milan hit 24-year high in Shkendija thrashing|
|Hard day-night for Windies as Cook and Root dominate|
|AC Milan 6 Shkendija 0: Silva, Montolivo inspire Rossoneri to brink of Europa League group stage|
|Lyth thumps 161 as Yorkshire plunder 260 in T20|
|Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez lead tributes as football stands with Barcelona|
|Usain Bolt offered burgers and beer to join Portuguese football club|
|Hummels joins Mata in pledging one per cent of his wages to charity|
|Carroll poised for West Ham return at Newcastle|
|Arsenal´s Alexis Sanchez named in latest Chile squad|