Steve Smith defends Faf du Plessis in ball tampering row
Australia captain Steve Smith has come out in support of Faf du Plessis in the ball tampering controversy, stating that every team around the world shines the cricket ball the same way as du Plessis.
The South African captain was found guilty of tampering with the ball during the Hobart Test against Australia, and had to part with his full match fees, although he evaded suspension for his actions. ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson laid down the charges on du Plessis, who was found breaching clause 2.2.9 of the ICC's Code of Conduct. a rule that deals with "changing the condition of the ball".
The 32-year old found an unlikely support in his Australian counterpart, who presented his opinion on the controversy while speaking to the media, claiming that there was nothing wrong with the way du Plessis shined the ball. "So look, we along with every other team around the world, shine the ball the same way", he said.
The South African captain has vehemently denied the ball-tampering claims, pleading innocence for the offence, a sentiment that has been echoed by his teammates, as well as coach Russell Domingo.
“The verdict was that I was guilty. I still completely disagree with that. I felt like I have done nothing wrong. It is something that all the cricketers do,” he had said.
Speaking earlier to the media, du Plessis had stated that the Australian team won't be speaking about the matter because "they know it's part of their team as well".
Yet, Steve Smith's words must have been a pleasant surprise for the South African, who took the captaincy from the injured AB de Villiers and is yet to lose a match in his stand-in capacity.
In response to du Plessis' comments on the silence in the Australian camp, Smith said: “I have seen Faf’s comments in his press conference. And look, from my point of view, and I make it very clear that we haven’t come out and said anything about Faf or about how he was shining the ball or anything like that".
In addition to being stripped of his match fees, he has also been handed three demerit points, but escaped harsher punishments such as being suspended from the next Test.
The final Test of the three-match series will start from November 24th at the Adelaide Oval, with the tourists having already secured the series with victories in the first two matches.