South African ODI skipper AB de Villiers said that his team had done nothing wrong after finding themselves in the middle of another ball-tampering row. It surfaced in the 33rd over of South Africa’s second ODI against England when de Villiers was seemingly trying to get the ball changed by the umpires.
The Proteas skipper said in the post-match press conference that he was telling the umpires that his team was not directly responsible for ball tampering. When asked whether he felt he was being held responsible, de Villiers said, “Yes, I did.”
“The umpires felt the condition of the ball changed, in a way making me feel we were responsible as a team,” he said, “I was quite upset about that … (but) it’s done and dusted now. Nothing happened, there were no fines given or anything like that.”
De Villiers, though, said that the umpires did seem to be convinced of his innocence in the matter. “I told the umpires we had nothing to do with the condition of the ball … no further steps were taken … and we move on,” said the South African captain, “Generally there is a warning or a fine, but none of that happened. That tells me they realised we were innocent in this case.”
South Africa were recently embroiled in a ball tampering incident when Test skipper Faf Du Plessis was fined his match fee by the International Cricket Council in November for shining the ball using saliva generated by sucking on a mint during the Proteas’s second Test win over Australia in Hobart.
The ball tampering incident would have only made worse what was already a tough day for the South Africans. Chasing 331, it looked like South Africa would level the series that they were trailing. They needed just 10 runs to win from the last 10 balls but somehow, England pulled themselves over the line. They hence took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.