Du Plessis guilty of ball tampering but cleared for third Test


Faf du Plessis is clear to lead South Africa in the third Test against Australia despite the ICC finding him guilty of ball tampering.

The Proteas' stand-in captain was charged with "applying saliva and residue from a mint or sweet, an artificial substance, to the ball in an attempt to change its condition" following South Africa's second Test victory in Hobart.

Du Plessis pleaded not guilty to the charge, but following a hearing before Andy Pycroft of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees he was deemed to have broken Article 22.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct.

"The decision was based on the evidence given from the umpires, who confirmed that had they seen the incident they would have taken action immediately, and from [MCC Head of Cricket] Mr [John] Stephenson, who confirmed the view of MCC that the television footage showed an artificial substance being transferred to the ball," an ICC statement read.
The 32-year-old could have incurred suspension points which would have seen him miss the third and final match of the Test series.

However, the ICC has instead fined Du Plessis 100 per cent of his match fee, meaning he will be able to play in Adelaide as the Proteas look to complete a 3-0 series whitewash.

He has also had three demerit points added to his record, which - should he offend again in the next two years - could lead to a ban.

Du Plessis has the right to appeal the verdict.