SYDNEY: South African standing skipper Faf du Plessis was found guilty of ball-tampering and was fined 100 per cent of the match fee from Hobart Test.
He was however; free to play the third Test in Adelaide.
The charge, laid by ICC chief executive David Richardson, related to clause 2.2.9 of the ICC’s Code of Conduct, which deals with “changing the condition of the ball” in breach of the Laws of Cricket. The Laws of Cricket, in turn, allow that players may “polish the ball provided that no artificial substance is used and that such polishing wastes no time”.
In laying the charge, the ICC had said that “TV footage appeared to show du Plessis applying saliva and residue from a mint or sweet, an artificial substance, to the ball in an attempt to change its condition” during the Hobart Test, ESPNcricinfo reported.
Du Plessis pleaded not guilty to the charge and faced a lengthy hearing before ICC match referee Andy Pycroft in Adelaide on Tuesday.
On Tuesday evening, the ICC said in a statement: “The decision was based on the evidence given from the umpires, who confirmed that had they seen the incident they would have taken action immediately, and from Mr Stephenson [MCC head of cricket John Stephenson], who confirmed the view of MCC that the television footage showed an artificial substance being transferred to the ball.”
In addition to the fine, three demerit points have been added to the disciplinary record of du Plessis for what was deemed a first offence. If du Plessis reaches four or more demerit points within a two-year period, they will be converted into suspension points and he would face a ban.
Cricket South Africa has confirmed that du Plessis, who had been represented by CSA’s legal counsel via teleconference, would appeal the verdict. He has 48 hours from the time of receipt of the written decision to lodge his objections.