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Faf to face the music in Adelaide

Cricket

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis will face an ICC hearing this afternoon to answer allegations of ball tampering which could rule him out of the third Test against Australia in Adelaide.

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ICC match referee Andy Pycroft decided the hearing should proceed today in the interests of expediency and to protect the integrity of the Adelaide Test, which starts on Thursday.

Pycroft made the ruling after a preliminary hearing on Monday considered submissions from the parties on when the hearing should take place.

Du Plessis landed in trouble after television footage appeared to show him using saliva to shine the ball with a mint in his mouth during the fourth day of the second Test in Hobart last week.

He was charged on Friday with breaching article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct and could face a one-match ban if found guilty of applying an artificial substance to the ball.

The ICC announced the hearing will be at 3.30pm.

The skipper is yet to comment on the alleged ball tampering since being charged but initially retweeted a message from South Africa-born former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior regarding the saga that said: “This is ridiculous … And you know why … every single team does it.”

Other South African players have denied their captain altered the state of the ball.

South African opener Hashim Amla had laughed off the accusations before du Plessis was charged, but things intensified yesterday at Adelaide Airport in a clash with media.

Zunaid Wadee, the Proteas’ security official, was attempting to shield du Plessis from questions regarding the mint controversy when he physically clashed with Nine Network reporter Will Crouch.

Wadee repeatedly pushed, shoulder charged and knocked a microphone from Crouch’s hands.

He then shoved Crouch against a glass door as du Plessis, smiling and giving a thumbs up, left the building.

The Proteas later released a statement regarding the physical altercation.

“This is the third incident of a reporter aggressively harassing our players,” team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.

“The reporter at the airport disrespected us and continued to harass Faf for comment.

“The reporter, who also had no official accreditation, then proceeded to lunge towards Faf with an unknown object causing a direct breach of security protocol.

“Throughout the tour we have respected all our media obligations and treated media with utmost respect.

“At the same time, we would like to see this respect reciprocated and will not accept such behaviour as displayed by the Channel 9 News reporter.”

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