S Africa’s du Plessis charged with ball tam­per­ing

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

HO­BART: South Africa cap­tain Faf du Plessis has been charged with ball tam­per­ing dur­ing the sec­ond test against Aus­tralia in Ho­bart, the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) said yes­ter­day.

The ICC an­nounced on Wed­nes­day that it would re­view footage of the match that ap­peared to show du Plessis ap­ply­ing saliva to the ball with a lolly in his mouth. “The charge re­lates to chang­ing the con­di­tion of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 and has been laid by the ICC Chief Ex­ec­u­tive David Richard­son who has ex­er­cised his right to do so,” the ICC said in a state­ment.

“Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty to the charge ... De­tails of the hear­ing will be an­nounced in due course,” the gov­ern­ing body added.

If proven guilty, du Plessis could be handed a max­i­mum fine of 100 per­cent match fee, two sus­pen­sion points and four de­merit points. Two sus­pen­sion points equates to a ban of one test match.

Ear­lier in the day, Hashim Amla was ac­com­pa­nied at a me­dia brief­ing by the en­tire South African squad and sup­port staff to “show sol­i­dar­ity” with their cap­tain. Amla said du Plessis has done “ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong”. “The rea­son ev­ery­body is here is to stand to­gether and to show sol­i­dar­ity to what has been some­thing we ac­tu­ally thought was a joke. It’s not April,” Amla said, hours be­fore the ICC charge was an­nounced.

“But the al­le­ga­tions against Faf were re­ally, for us, a ridicu­lous thing and as a team we are stand­ing strong. For us it is ba­si­cally a joke. The boys are here, stand­ing strong.”

The 32-year-old du Plessis, the stand-in cap­tain for the in­jured AB de Vil­liers has pre­vi­ously been in hot wa­ter for ball tam­per­ing.

In 2013, he was fined 50 per­cent of his match fee for ball tam­per­ing in the sec­ond test against Pak­istan. He was caught on cam­era rub­bing the ball against a zip on his pocket on the third day of the match in Dubai, lead­ing um­pires Ian Gould and Rod Tucker to pe­nalise South Africa five runs and change the ball. Du Plessis did not con­test the charge.

South Africa’s in­nings and 80-run win over Aus­tralia in Ho­bart sealed the three-match test se­ries with a game in hand.

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