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Du Plessis disputes ball-tampering verdict, denies cheating

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Cricket - Australia v South Africa - Third Test cricket match - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia - 23/11/16. South Africa's cricket captain Faf du Plessis arrives at a news conference before the third cricket test against Australia in Adelaide. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Cricket - Australia v South Africa - Third Test cricket match - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia - 23/11/16. South Africa's cricket captain Faf du Plessis arrives at a news conference before the third cricket test against Australia in Adelaide. REUTERS/Jason Reed

ADELAIDE (Reuters) - South Africa cricket captain Faf du Plessis expressed disappointment on Wednesday that his sanction for ball-tampering had taken the "shine" off the Proteas' series-winning triumph in Australia and denied he had intended to cheat.

Du Plessis was found guilty of ball-tampering by an ICC panel on Tuesday after footage emerged from the second test in Hobart that showed him applying saliva to the ball with a mint in his mouth.

Du Plessis, who was also sanctioned for ball-tampering in 2013, was fined his entire match fee but cleared to play in the third and final test in Adelaide, which starts on Thursday.

"As you know yesterday was the hearing ... I still completely disagree with (the verdict)," Du Plessis said in a media conference in Adelaide.

"I felt like I've done nothing wrong.

"It's not like I was trying to cheat or anything, I was shining the ball.

"It's something that all cricketers do.

"Our mouths are always full of sugar, I think it's such a grey area in the laws of cricket.

"I suppose the thing that's most disappointed us is that we've dominated and played exceptionally well.

"That's taken all the shine away from that, excuse the pun."

Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat was present at the media conference and said he had asked Du Plessis to reserve his decision as to whether to appeal the charge pending further information from the ICC.

"There are also other issues relating to fairness and interpretation of the rules," Lorgat said.

"Test match cricket is a competitive sport at the highest level. Integrity and consistent application of the rules are important for everyone."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)


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