Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has officially launched an appeal against the ruling that he was guilty of ball-tampering.
It was widely expected that he would, with the support of Cricket South Africa, especially after their CEO, Haroon Lorgat, demanded clarification of the rules regarding ‘artificial substances’.
Du Plessis was fined his entire match fee for the second Test in Hobart and was given three demerit after being found guilty of a breach of Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct. He was seen using spit to help polish the ball while sucking a mint, which, say the ICC, is an ‘artificial substance’.
‘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,’ said Lorgat.
‘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.’
‘CSA will support him 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,’ Lorgat added.
After Du Plessis was found guilty, Lorgat questioned exactly what was an ‘artificial substance’.
‘CSA believes that the Laws of the game do not currently define the term ‘artificial substance’, leaving room for inconsistent application of the rules,’ he said. ‘For instance, the Laws currently prevent the use of ‘artificial substances’ to polish the ball, yet artificial cotton fibres from playing kit can be used to shine the ball.
‘Players also regularly chew gum when applying saliva to the ball, or ingest sugary drinks and sweets during short breaks in play before shining the ball. No action is taken in such circumstances by the umpires.’