Du Plessis charged with ball tampering

Du Plessis was charged after television footage appeared to show him applying an artificial substance to the ball during the fourth day's play in the second test against Australia in Hobart.

Faf du Plessis South Africa Ball tampering

Du Plessis was charged after television footage appeared to show him applying an artificial substance to the ball during the fourth day's play in the second Test against Australia in Hobart.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been charged with ball tampering, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Friday.

Du Plessis was charged after television footage appeared to show him applying an artificial substance to the ball during the fourth day's play in the second Test against Australia in Hobart.

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.

Du Plessis, the acting skipper with AB de Villiers out injured, pleaded not guilty. A hearing will now be held by Andy Pycroft of the ICC match referees panel. The results will be announced in due course, the ICC statement said.

The South African squad appeared before media in Melbourne on Friday to defend him. "The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity to something... we thought was actually a joke," veteran batsman Hashim Amla told reporters.

Under cricket rules, a player may shine the ball provided no artificial substance is used with du Plessis potentially facing a fine of up to 100 percent of his match fee.

South Africa easily won the Hobart Test by an innings and 80 runs, plunging Australian cricket into crisis.

It was a fifth straight defeat for Australia, which saw chairman of selectors Rod Marsh quit and Trevor Hohns temporarily replace him.

The third and final Test starts on November 24 in Adelaide.

Faf du Plessis may be imposed 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.