Amla dubs ball-tampering claims against du Plessis as `ridiculous`

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Nov.18 (ANI): South African opener Hashim Amla has come in support of Faf du Plessis and dubbed the ball-tampering allegations against the stand-in skipper as `ridiculous`. Du Plessis was charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for allegedly applying a mint-infused saliva to the ball during fourth day's play of the second Test against Australia, which concluded in Hobart on Tuesday. Insisting that du Plessis has done 'absolutely nothing wrong', Amla said that his side are standing strong behind their beleaguered captain,Sport24 reported. "The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity. We thought it was actually a joke. It's not April, but the allegation against Faf was a really ridiculous thing. As a team, we're standing strong, we've done nothing wrong," said the team's senior-most batsman Amla, who addressed the media at the MCG on Friday, accompanied by the entire South African squad and support staff. Amla continued to defend du Plessis and said, "I chew bubble gum while I'm on the field - you want me to brush my teeth after lunch? ..We're standing out on the field for two hours... there was no malicious intent whatsoever." "Is it proven or what? Because that's something that is really new to us.I've had sweets in my mouth, bubblegum in my mouth, butong, nuts. I'm not sure what the big deal is," he added. 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". However, du Plessis pleaded not guilty and is 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. Earlier, the ICC had confirmed that they were reviewing the video footage showing du Plessis chewing a white lolly in his mouth, licking his finger on the mint before repeatedly shining and rubbing the ball. It should be noted 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)