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South Africa captain du Plessis charged with ball tampering

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HOBART: 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.

“Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty to the charge … Details of the hearing will be announced in due course,” the ICC said in a statement.

Under cricket rules, a player may shine the ball provided no artificial substance is used.

The South African squad stood behind star bat Hashim Amla as they fronted the media at the MCG, the day before they play a Victorian XI under lights.

“The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity to something … we thought was actually a joke,” Amla said.

“As a team, we’re standing strong, we’ve done nothing wrong. It’s basically a joke.”

It was then put to Amla that his captain was under investigation over the incident.

“Whether it is or not, we’ve done nothing wrong and I know Faf has done absolutely nothing wrong,” he 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.”

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