Hashim Amla has labelled Faf du Plessis’ ball-tampering charge as ‘a joke’.
The news that Du Plessis had been charged by the ICC for ball tampering sparked a strong response from the rest of the team, who stood behind Amla as they fronted the media at the MCG on Friday, the day before they play a Victorian XI under lights.
Du Plessis has been slapped with a level 2 offence, as footage apparently showed him shining the ball while he had a mint in his mouth. Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty and is seeking legal advice to contest the charge.
‘The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity to something … we thought was actually a joke,’ Amla said.
‘It’s not April, but the allegation against Faf was … a really ridiculous thing.
‘As a team, we’re standing strong, we’ve done nothing wrong.
‘It’s basically a joke.’
Officials attempted to change the topic during the press conference, but Amla continued to voice his opinion on the matter, clearly angered by the decision the ICC had made.
‘Whether it is or not, we’ve done nothing wrong and I know Faf has done absolutely nothing wrong,’ he said.
‘I chew bubblegum while I’m on the field – you want me to brush my teeth after lunch?
‘We’re standing out on the field for two hours … there was no malicious intent whatsoever.
‘Is it proven or what? Because that’s something that is really new to us,’ Amla said.
‘I’ve had sweets in my mouth, bubblegum in my mouth, biltong, nuts – I’m not sure what the big deal is.
‘To a lot of people, it’s sounding more like sour sweets.’