Ball tampering ‘sweet cheat’ du Plessis fined but free to face Australia in Test

South Africa's Faf Du Plessis
South Africa's Faf Du Plessis
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South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has avoided a ban despite being found guilty of ball tampering.

The batsman was charged by the International Cricket Council last week, with the governing body saying at the time that television footage had appeared to show him “applying saliva and residue from a mint or sweet, an artificial substance, to the ball in an attempt to change its condition”.

The incident happened during the Proteas’ victory in the second Test against Australia.

The 32-year-old, who pleaded not guilty, was facing a fine of between 50 and 100 per cent of his match fee and/or up to two suspension points, which would trigger a ban for one Test, or two one-day internationals.

After having his case heard by match referee Andy Pycroft, he has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee but remains free to free to play in the third Test in Adelaide that starts this week.

In a statement, the ICC said: “The decision was based on the evidence given from the umpires, who confirmed that had they seen the incident they would have taken action immediately, and from Mr Stephenson, who confirmed the view of MCC that the television footage showed an artificial substance being transferred to the ball.

“The offence was treated as a first offence. Mr du Plessis was fined 100 per cent of his match fee and is free to play on Thursday.”