Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has revealed that he reached out to Steve Smith and David Warner after the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
Du Plessis revealed during the pre-series press conference that he passed on a message of sympathy to two of the banned Australians, Smith and Warner.
‘I do remember there was a message to both … to generally sympathise with the two of them. I think it was a case of “I’m feeling for you; I know it’s a tough time you’re going through … just stay strong and you’ll come through this a stronger character”,’ recalled Du Plessis, who is anticipating a markedly more reserved atmosphere in the series.
‘I do suspect this series will be a little bit more toned down, especially from the Australian side,’ said Du Plessis. ‘Not necessarily from a body language point of view, but maybe just from a verbal point of view. There will still be the good battles on the cricket field, but there will just be a bit less of the verbal stuff.’
A weakened Australia enters the series on the back of one of their worst runs in ODI cricket, with 16 losses from their last 18 completed matches.
‘I think it would be unfair to the guys coming into the squad to dwell too much on the negatives,’ said Australian skipper Aaron Finch. ‘It’s important not to put doubt or fear into their minds about the end result.’
Photo: Cricket South Africa