Reporter lunged towards Faf with unknown object

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He added that the Channel Nine News reporter, Will Crouch, had also “shoved the team manager (Moosajee) in the back” in his attempts to get comment from Du Plessis on ball-tampering allegations.

The skipper was charged by the International Cricket Council last week for “breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct after television footage appeared to show him applying an artificial substance to the ball during the fourth day’s play in the second Test in Hobart. The charge relates to changing the condition of the ball”.

But things became heated at the Adelaide Airport on Monday, as Crouch pushed a microphone in Du Plessis’ path as the Proteas skipper emerged from the airport, with team manager and doctor Moosajee and security official Zunaid Wadee in tow.

A video has surfaced where Du Plessis, sporting dark sunglasses, is seen to be continuing to walk ahead without responding to Crouch’s questions, at which point

Wadee steps in and keeps Crouch as arm’s length using his travel bag.

Crouch, though, tries to walk in another direction to try to get closer to Du Plessis as

Moosajee is heard saying “Excuse me, excuse me, get out of the way please”.

Crouch was undeterred, and again tries to speak to Du Plessis, but Wadee and Moosajee both hold him back and away from the Proteas batsman.

At one point, Crouch is also seen pushing Moosajee in the back despite Wadee’s attempts to keep him away from Du Plessis. The incident ends as everybody reaches the exit door, with Crouch ending up going into a glass panel as Wadee keeps pushing him away from Du Plessis.

“The Australian media and Channel 9 News in particular have been advised on numerous occasions over the past few days that Cricket South Africa and captain, Faf du Plessis, are not in a position to comment on the alleged ball tampering issue,” Moosajee said in a statement afterwards.

“However, despite our best to intentions to co-operate with the Australian media, Channel 9 News’ behaviour has been disappointing. We have advised of our media protocol, which has been blatantly ignored, both at the team’s hotel in Melbourne on Friday and Saturday and again at the airport in Adelaide today.

“This is the third incident of a reporter aggressively harassing our players with blatant disrespect of the above-mentioned media protocol. The ‘reporter’ at the airport disrespected us and continued to harass Faf for comment. The ‘reporter’ was also in the unusual position of being in the middle of the players’ walkway to the bus. He was advised to move three times, and did not adhere to this request.

“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. The reporter also shoved the team manager in the back.

“Throughout the tour, we have respected all our media obligations and treated media with the 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.”

Proteas players Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Tabraiz Shamsi took to Twitter to express their unhappiness with the matter. “Disappointed.. such provocative behaviour from reporters.Let a man walk in peace.Ask with manners n courtesy and u prob will get a response,” Amla posted.

Duminy added in response to Amla’s tweet: “Sad that this is what our tour has come to.”

And spin bowler Shamsi stated: “Absolutely disgraceful behaviour by the reporters at the airport this afternoon! #Pathetic”

Channel Nine said on their website that Crouch had tried to speak to Du Plessis about “the ball-tampering controversy” after the Proteas captain was charged by the International Cricket Council last week for what has been dubbed “Lollygate” following an incident during the second Test against Australia in Hobart, which South Africa won by an innings and 80 runs.

Channel Nine said that there was another incident involving Wadee and a different reporter, Corey Norris, tried to interview Du Plessis on Saturday. “Norris approached Du Plessis, but was confronted by Mr Wadee. The fiery exchange was captured on a GoPro, which shows the team’s security official attempting to stop Norris from approaching Du Plessis by placing his arm against the journalist’s neck,” the channel said on their website.

Amla and the rest of the Proteas team issued a statement in solidarity with Du Plessis last week, where the former captain said it was “a joke and ridiculous” that Du Plessis was being accused of ball-tampering for shining the ball with his saliva while sucking on a sweet at the same time.

Cricket South Africa said afterwards that they would be “providing the necessary support, including legal representation, to aid Mr Du Plessis to defend the charge made against him”. No date has been set for the hearing.

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@ashfakmohamed

Independent Media

Cricket South Africa has issued a statement on the airport incident involving Proteas captain Faf Du Plessis and a Channel 9 News reporter.

Original source: Reporter lunged towards Faf with unknown object

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