South Africa’s stand-in Test captain Faf du Plessis was on Friday charged with ball-tampering by the International Cricket Council.
The ICC confirmed in a statement that du Plessis, who led the Proteas to a Test series win in Australia recently, had been charged for breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball”.
“South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been charged 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, which concluded on Tuesday,” the ICC said in a statement.
The charge has been laid by the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson who has exercised his right according to Article 3.1.3 of the Code.
Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty to the charge and, as such, the matter will now be heard by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.
The alleged incident happened on Tuesday morning when TV footage appeared to show du Plessis applying saliva and residue from a mint or sweet, an artificial substance, to the ball in an attempt to change its condition.
All level 2 breaches carry an imposition of a fine between 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the applicable match fee and/or up to two suspension points, and three or four demerit points. Two suspension points equates to one Test match.
Du Plessis received the level-two charge shortly before his national team-mates congregated at a media conference to support the captain, who was filmed shining the ball with saliva while also having a lolly in his mouth.