Faf: I did nothing wrong

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Du Plessis emerged from the three-hour long hearing having being found guilty by ICC match referee Andy Pycroft to the charge of applying an artificial substance to the ball during the Hobart Test, but still able to lead the Proteas in their maiden day-night pink ball Test starting here tomorrow.

The consolation of still being able to play in this historic event has though not softened the blow for Du Plessis, for he believes the way he was shining the ball was a customary act on the cricket field.

“I’m disappointed with the charge and while I don’t agree with it, I will respect the ICC’s decision. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, it is a norm of the international game and is a part of the game but more importantly, puts a question mark of the current laws that are in place,” Du Plessis told Independent Media.

Du Plessis’ frustrations are certainly understandable considering video footage that emerged yesterday morning showing his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli allegedly appearing to shine the cricket ball using saliva from a sweet in his mouth - similar to the charge against the Proteas skipper - during the first Test against England at Rajkot and it going uncensored.

The ICC has since officially rejected any ball-tampering investigation against Kohli due the video from the Rajkot Test being nine days old and thus out of the window period for action to be taken on it.

Any footage that can be considered under a Level 1 or 2 offence under the ICC Code of Conduct has to be brought to the notice of the ICC match referee within five days of the incident.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo certainly tried to shoulder some of Du Plessis’ burden yesterday, saying the team has circled around their skipper as “I suppose it does weigh you down at times” although he was “pretty confident he will be in a good frame of mind” because “he is a tough and resilient man”.

With the hearing out of the way now though, and having not participated in training yesterday, Du Plessis will now need to show that resilience and switch his focus immediately to helping his team into the record books by condemning Australia to their sixth consecutive Test defeat and their first-ever 3-0 whitewash on home soil. There is little doubt that the Adelaide crowd will be focused on him, too.

“All I can focus on is galvanising the team and preparing my players for an important Test match ahead.

"Our job is not finished yet, we want to win the series 3-0 and are now more determined to come out fighting and to put in the type of performances that we have seen during the current series,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis’ censure yesterday was the second time he has been punished on the same charge after rubbing the ball against the zipper of his trouser in a Test against Pakistan in 2013.

He was fined half his match fee on that occasion, but it had no bearing on yesterday’s hearing as the ICC has since introduced a new player code of conduct.

THE STAR

South African cricket captain Faf du Plessis believes he did nothing wrong when shining the ball against Australia.

Original source: Faf: I did nothing wrong

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