Faf du Plessis to appeal ball tampering conviction

South African skipper protests innocence after he was caught on camera sucking a sweet

Image Credit: AFP
Faf du Plessis.

Adelaide: Aggrieved South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has confirmed he will appeal his conviction for ball-tampering, insisting authorities got it wrong.

Du Plessis was fined his entire match fee after being caught on camera sucking a sweet, or mint, and rubbing the ball with his saliva in an attempt to alter its flight during last week’s second Test against Australia in Hobart.

“Faf has decided to appeal the match referee’s decision after he and his legal team studied the written reasons provided by the match referee,” Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement late Thursday.

“In his mind Faf is clear that he did not alter the condition of the ball nor did he intend to do so and that the match referee was not correct to find him guilty. He is understandably feeling aggrieved.”

Match referee Andy Pycroft found du Plessis guilty at an International Cricket Council (ICC) hearing in Adelaide this week.

It is the second time he has been fined for ball-tampering, after he was docked 50 percent of his match fee in 2013 in the second Test against Pakistan.

But Pycroft said it was treated as a first offence under the version of the ICC’s code of conduct that came into force in September.

As well as the fine, du Plessis had three demerit points added to his disciplinary record. If he collects another point within 24 months, they will be converted to suspension points and he will be banned.

Two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whichever comes first for the player.

Lorgat said CSA supported the appeal before an independent Judicial Commissioner “as there are issues relating to fair and just process, interpretation of the rules, science and performance that needs to be considered”.

Du Plessis, who put the row behind him to score a gritty century Thursday in the third Test against Australia in Adelaide, has warned authorities have opened a “can of worms”.

“For me (ball-tampering) is picking the ball, scratching the ball. Shining the ball, I think all cricketers would say, is not in the same place,” he said this week.

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