The ICC have expressed their disappointment at Faf du Plessis’ decision to appeal against their decision to charge him for ball-tampering.
The Proteas stand-in skipper decided to appeal the decision after he was fined his entire match fee and given three demerit points after being found guilty of breaching Article 2. 2.9 of the ICC code of conduct.
Television footage appeared to show him applying an artificial substance to the ball during the fourth day’s play in the second Test against Australia in Hobart, but Du Plessis is adamant that his actions didn’t affect the ball.
‘The ICC is disappointed that Faf du Plessis has chosen not to accept the findings of Match Referee Andy Pycroft and will instead exercise his right to appeal. A Judicial Commissioner will now be appointed to hear the appeal at the earliest opportunity,’ the official ICC statement said.
‘The ICC will wait until the completion of the appeal before making full comment, but at this stage it is important to clarify the laws of cricket. These state that a player should not use artificial substances to shine the ball. The ICC’s understands that to include, but is not limited to, sunscreen, lip ice and residue from sweets.
‘The ICC does not wish to prevent players from using these substances for legitimate purposes, however, any deliberate attempt to apply such substances to the ball, as was the case here, will not be acceptable. This will continue to be reported and the ICC confirms that unless the laws are changed, the current practice of charging players when the evidence shows an obvious breach will continue. ICC umpires will remind all teams of the laws as they stand.’
The statement was in response to Cricket South Africa’s assertion that the law is unclear in its definition of what constitutes an artificial substance, and it’s also brought about a reaction from former South African wicketkeeper and ICC CEO David Richardson.
‘I think it’s fair to say I’m disappointed that they don’t respect that the laws are there. They are there and the process is not necessarily respected. I was disappointed in the initial sort of comment that this is a joke – that kind of comment,’ he said.
‘This has always been an issue that’s been quite difficult to police. Even before we spoke about using mints and sweets, lip ice – and we’ve been using lip ice and sunscreen on our faces for years – we understand that inadvertently in shining the ball there’s a potential for it to get onto the ball.
‘There’s two examples in the past. One was Rahul Dravid where he actually took the sweet and rubbed it on the ball, you probably couldn’t get more obvious than that. And in our opinion this instance. So if anyone does something similar we will hopefully get to see it, treat it in exactly the same way we’ve treated Faf in this case. These decisions are not taken lightly because it was just so obvious under the current laws that we thought we had to report him.’
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