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5 biggest controversies in South African cricket

S Samaddar
Top 5 / Top 10
3.38K   //    27 Jun 2018, 00:15 IST

South Africa are the third oldest cricketing nation in the world, having played its first Test match back in 1889 and acquired full member status in 1909. While they went on to become one of the world’s leading cricketing, it would not be unfair to say that South African cricket also became a hotbed for a range of controversies.

Starting from Apartheid-related ones to ones pertaining to match-fixing and racial quotas, South African cricket has been embroiled in all of those controversies over the course of their existence as a cricketing nation.

It is safe to say that South African cricket is in a league of its own as far as big controversies go and it would be quite fascinating to have a look at five of the biggest ones that it has been involved in. Here is a quick look at them.

#5 Faf Du Plessis’ caught ball tampering ……twice

Faf Du Plessis caught. (the sweet can be seen in his mouth)
Faf Du Plessis caught. (the sweet can be seen in his mouth)

The Australian trio of Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner might be regarded as the biggest ball-tampering rogues in world cricket currently, but South African captain Faf Du Plessis had been caught doing the same twice before. What’s more, the second offence took place in Australia, back in 2016.

During the second Test at Hobart, applied saliva on to the ball while eating a sweet and was immediately charged with a breach of the Level two of ICC’s code of conduct. He was fined his entire match fee and awarded three demerit points.

However, what makes Du Plessis’ offence controversial is that it was not the first time that he had been caught trying to change the condition of the ball. In 2013, he had been caught trying to tamper with the ball by rubbing it against the zipper of his trousers. He was caught on camera and the umpires slapped South Africa with a five-run penalty.

What was telling was that De Plessis did not contest the umpires’ charge and quietly accepted the 50 percent fine. 

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