South Africa captain Faf du Plessis charged with ball tampering v Australia

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been charged with ball tampering in the second Test win over Australia in Hobart.

Video footage appears to show the 32-year-old licking his finger and shining the ball while eating a sweet.

Du Plessis was charged for breaching level two of the International Cricket Council code of conduct relating to “changing the condition of the ball” using an artificial substance.

He has pleaded not guilty.

South Africa completed an innings-and-80-run victory on Tuesday to win the three Test series with a game to spare, with Du Plessis deputising as skipper for the injured AB de Villiers,

In 2013, Du Plessis was fined 50% 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 to penalise South Africa five runs and change the ball.

On that occasion Du Plessis did not contest the charge.

Former South Africa captain Hashim Amla, who also played against Australia in the week, said that he thought the charge against Du Plessis “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,” he added.

“I chew bubblegum 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.

“I’ve had sweets in my mouth, bubblegum in my mouth, butong, nuts. I’m not sure what the big deal is. To a lot of people, it’s sounding more like sour sweets.”

ICC chief executive David Richardson said the matter will now be heard by Andy Pycroft of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.

All level two breaches carry an imposition of a fine between 50-100% of the applicable match fee and/or up to two suspension points, and three or four demerit points.

BBC

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