South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will know about his fate when he faces an ICC hearing at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday afternoon, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced late Monday evening. The hearing will be conducted by ICC match referee Andy Pycroft and will take place at 15:30 Adelaide Time (10:30 India time).
Du Plessis faces a fine of up to 100 per cent of his match fee and/or one-Test suspension after he was charged by the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson for changing the condition of the ball during the Hobart Test when television footage showed him rubbing his index finger on the mint, which was sitting on his tongue, and then using the mint saliva on the index finger to shine the ball.
According to law 42.3 of The Laws of Cricket, no artificial substance except sweat and saliva can be applied on the ball to shine it.
The charge on Du Plessis has led an outcry from the former South Africa players, including Graeme Smith, who tweeted: “I cannot believe the puppet show the @ICC has become, ball tampering allegations are a joke”, and Dale Steyn, who tweeted: “Beaten with the bat. Beaten with the ball. Beaten in the field. Mentally stronger. Here’s a(n) idea, lets blame it on pollipop.”
The South African team’s behaviour and conduct following the charge has itself been below-par, including spats with TV journalists outside the Melbourne hotel and then at the Adelaide airport who were pushed off when they approached du Plessis for comments.
Also during a practice match against a Victorian XI over the weekend, pace bowlers Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel displayed disrespect towards the game’s governing body when they showed off by eating sweets and then making an overt search for any lollies left in their mouths following a drinks break on the first day of the match.
This is the third time that a South Africa player has been charged with ball-tampering in recent years after Du Plessis was docked 50 per cent of his match during a Test against Pakistan in 2013 and Vernon Philander was fined 75 per cent of his match fee during a Test against Sri Lanka in 2014.