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ICC charges du Plessis for alleged `ball tampering`

Dubai [UAE]: South Africa stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis has been charged with ball tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after he allegedly applied a mint-infused saliva to the ball during the fourth day’s play of the second Test against Australia, which concluded in Hobart on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old was found to have breached Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball”.

“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,” the ICC said in a statement.

Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty and is now seeking legal advice to further contest the charge. The matter will now be heard by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, but a date for the hearing is yet to be decided.

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.

The charge has been laid by the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson who has exercised his right to do so according to Article 3.1.3 of the Code.

Earlier, the ICC had confirmed that they were reviewing the video footage showing du Plessis chewing a white lollyin his mouth, licking his finger on the mint before repeatedly shining and rubbing the ball.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that the 32-year-old batsman has been caught doing something with the ball. In 2013, he was fined 50 percent of the match fee during the second Test against Pakistan for rubbing the ball with his trouser zipper. (ANI)