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How sweet it is: Faf keeps Proteas - and tampering appeal - alive


An “aggrieved” Faf du Plessis is appealing an International Cricket Council decision to fine him for ball tampering in the second Test against Australia.

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The ICC announced the verdict on Tuesday and fined the Proteas captain his entire match fee from the Hobart Test, but he avoided a ban for the third Test in Adelaide where he hit 118 not out on yesterday’s first day.

He was found to have been shining the cricket ball with a sweet in his mouth.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed in a statement that du Plessis had appealed the decision of the ICC Match Referee, which found him guilty of a breach of the ICC Code of Conduct.

“Faf has decided to appeal the match referee’s decision after he and his legal team had studied the written reasons provided by the match referee,” CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.

“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.”

Lorgat said the CSA would support du Plessis to appeal the decision 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 was booed on the ground at Adelaide yesterday, earlier this week said he felt he had done nothing wrong.

“I was shining the cricket ball. I have been doing that my whole career. Every single team I have played in does exactly the same thing.

“It’s not something that’s frowned upon by anyone, not even the umpires… I just think it was a little bit blown out of proportion.”

The CSA statement said that as the matter was now subject to further legal process, neither du Plessis nor the CSA would make further comment.

The South African captain did concede, though, that he doesn’t know how his side are placed against Australia in Adelaide following a “super strange” start to the Proteas’ first day-night Test with the pink ball.

The tourists made 9(dec)-259 after winning the toss in the third Test, with Australia resuming at 0-14.

But Du Plessis doesn’t know if his side banked a good score.

Or just how the pink ball with behave for his bowlers.

Everything feels weird about it

Nor what the day-night fixture will do to the natural body clock of his players.

“I don’t even know what to expect,” said du Plessis.

“I mean, we got 250 but it feels like we got more. But still it isn’t a massive score.

“Obviously the statistics of the pink ball says it’s not generally a five-day game, it speeds up a little bit because there’s a lot more action on the ball. So 250 is perhaps a 350 with a red ball. But this is all just speculation.”

Du Plessis said his players felt like the first break was the usual tea adjournment; and the dinner break felt like stumps.

“Everything feels weird about it,” he said.

“Your brain will be spinning for another two hours because that is normal when you finish the game. So you go to bed at 2am and wake-up at eight o’clock and you have got to go again.

“Everything is just weird for us at the moment.

“But it’s fascinating. It’s changing Test cricket.

“As you saw, there was a massive crowd in so they obviously love it and the cricketers also enjoy it because it’s a different challenge.”

Some 32,255 spectators attended day-night one at Adelaide Oval.


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