South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee from the second Test against Australia in Hobart which the visitors won by an innings and 80 runs and took hold of the three-match series 2-0. However, post the win, controversy erupted over Faf’s usage of mints to alter the condition of the ball. But with the verdict after a hearing that lasted nearly three hours, he is eligible to play the third Test against the Aussies in Adelaide. The Test begins on Thursday, November 24, and is the second day-night contest in Australia.
ICC Match Referee Andy Pycroft found Faf in breach of Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct in what is the second charge of ball tampering on the Proteas skipper. He was fined by the ICC for rubbing the ball on a trouser zipper during a 2013 Test against Pakistan.
ICC CEO Dave Richardson had charged Faf after TV footage appeared to show du Plessis applying an artificial substance (mint lolly) while trying to shine the surface of the ball.
Pycroft heard representation from all parties including the two on-field umpires, who stated they would have acted immediately had they seen the incident, and MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson who also confirmed that an artificial substance was transferred to the ball while applying saliva.
Under the new version of Code that came into effect on September 22, 2016, this was treated as a first offence and with that, du Plessis was docked 100 per cent of his match fee and three demerit points have been added to his disciplinary record.
Since the ICC charge, Faf has been supported across the cricket world including by his teammates in a show of unity with the entire side showing up and Hashim Amla speaking out against the unfairness of it.
He still has 48 hours to appeal the verdict.