The ICC have decided to charge South Africa’s stand-in Test captain with breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Earlier this week, video footage emerged of Faf du Plessis licking his finger with a sweet [considered a foreign object] in his mouth before applying it to the ball with the International Cricket Council [ICC] investigating the incident.
“South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been charged for breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct after television footage appeared to show him applying an artificial substance to the ball during the fourth day’s play in the second Test in Hobart, which concluded on Tuesday,” the ICC said in a statement.
“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 according to Article 3.1.3 of the Code.”
Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty to the charge and the issue will now be carried forward by match referee Andy Pycroft. If found guilty, the 32-year-old could be banned for the upcoming Adelaide Test.
This is not the first time South Africa have been in trouble over ball-tampering in the recent past. Du Plessis was fined 50% of his match fee over a similar incident in a 2013 Test against Pakistan.
With a 2-0 lead, South Africa have already won the Test series and the entire team rallied behind du Plessis on Thursday. Senior member and former captain Hashim Amla called the charge ‘a joke’.
“The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity to something. We thought was actually a joke. It’s not April, but the allegation against Faf was a really ridiculous thing. As a team, we’re standing strong, we’ve done nothing wrong. It’s basically a joke,” said Amla.
“Whether it is or not, we’ve done nothing wrong and I know Faf has done absolutely nothing wrong. I chew bubble gum while I’m on the field – you want me to brush my teeth after lunch? We’re standing out on the field for two hours. There was no malicious intent whatsoever. Is it proven or what? Because that’s something that is really new to us.”
“I’ve had sweets in my mouth, bubblegum in my mouth, biltong, nuts. I’m not sure what the big deal is. To a lot of people, it’s sounding more like sour sweets.”
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