Amla: Ridiculous Du Plessis charge is a joke


Hashim Amla said South Africa thought "ridiculous" allegations of ball tampering aimed at Faf du Plessis were a "joke" as the Proteas put on a united front.

Amla spoke to the media on Friday with his team-mates standing behind him before stand-in captain Du Plessis was charged by the ICC for "changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3."

Television footage appeared to show Du Plessis applying saliva from a mint or sweet to the ball on the fourth and final day of the tourists victory in Hobart, which gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.

The 32-year-old will face an ICC hearing after pleading not guilty and former skipper Amla said the batsman has done nothing wrong.

He said: "The reason everybody is here is to stand together and show solidarity to what has been something that is really what we thought was actually a joke.

"It's not April, but the allegations against Faf was a farce, a ridiculous thing. As a team we are standing strong, we've done nothing. For us it's basically a joke, so our boys are here and we are standing strong. 

"We've done nothing wrong, Faf has done nothing wrong. I chew bubble gum every time I'm fielding, so do you want me to brush my teeth after lunch every time I come out to the field?

"You've got to be logical about this, common sense surely has got to prevail. There was no malicious intent whatsoever."

He added: "To a lot of people it's sounding like sour sweets, maybe that we've played really good cricket and the timing of it is a bit weird too."

Du Plessis did not face the media, but retweeted several tweets relating to his charge.

One of which was from former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden, who wrote: "Ball tampering OMG please. What about this 'Watch the ball' the rest will look after itself!!!"