South Africa captain Faf du Plessis expressed sympathy for Steve Smith and said that the 12-month ban is too harsh. Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg, Du Plessis said that he felt sorry for the former Australian captain and revealed that he had also sent him a text. However, du Plessis also voiced his suspicion that the Kangaroos might have resorted to tampering activities in the series, prior to the third Test.
When asked if he thought that Australia had tampered with the ball in other matches in the series, du Plessis said, “I thought so, yes. This series the ball has been reversing quite a bit. We thought there was no way the ball can go so early. It’s just unheard of for a South African series, with the ball to go this much.”
Reflectin on the sequence of events, he said, “It’s been a crazy week. I have compassion for what he’s going through. I think he’s one of the good guys and he’s just been caught in a bad place,” said Du Plessis before adding, “I did send him a text. From a really deep place in my heart, I feel for the guy. I don’t want to see guys going through that stuff. It’s going to be incredibly hard for him over the next days so I sent him a message of support, saying he’ll get through this and he must be strong.”
Welcoming the decision by International Cricket Council (ICC) that there would be a review of the ICC code of conduct and penalties, Du Plessis said, “I think it’s overdue. All we ask for is consistency. There are a lot of grey areas.”
For attempting to tamper with the ball during the third Test in Cape Town last Saturday, the tainted trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft faced suspensions from Cricket Australia. While Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months, Cameroon Bancroft was suspended for nine months.