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Faf du Plessis charged with ball tampering by ICC

Faf Du Plessis
South African captain Faf Du Plessis. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

South African skipper Faf du Plessis has been found to have breached ICC’s law and has been charged with ‘changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3’ by the International Cricket Council. Ball-tampering allegations surrounded Du Plessis after he was caught on camera for applying saliva to the ball with a lolly in his mouth.

The matter was brought under investigations which subsequently lead to the decision made today. The South Africa skipper pleaded not guilty and will now require a hearing, the details of which are still to be confirmed. All level 2 breaches carry an imposition of a fine between 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the applicable match fee and/or up to two suspension points, and three or four demerit points.

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“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.

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The charges has united the Proteas team. Hashim Amla termed the decision as a ‘joke’ in the press conference while speaking about the matter.

“The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity to something … we thought was actually a joke,” Amla said.

“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.

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Amla remained adamant that the team’s leader had no case to answer with the prospect of a historic 3-0 series sweep on the horizon in Adelaide.

“Whether it is or not, we’ve done nothing wrong and I know Faf has done absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. 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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The 32-year-old stand-in captain for the injured AB de Villiers has previously been in hot water for ball tampering. In 2013, Du Plessis 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 penalize South Africa five runs and change the ball. Du Plessis did not contest the charge.

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