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Du Plessis’s appeal against ball tampering rejected



Dubai, Dec 21: The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct Commission has dismissed South African captain Faf du Plessis's appeal against a decision that found him guilty of ball tampering in the second Test against Australia last month, it was announced on Wednesday.

Du Plessis was fined his entire match fee for the second Test — played in Hobart between November 12 to 15 — by ICC Match Referee Andy Pycroft, finding the batsman guilty of a breach of Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct.

Du Plessis was found guilty after TV footage showed him applying saliva to the ball for polishing with a sweet in his mouth. Du Plessis denied the charge.

"The Chair of the ICC's Code of Conduct Commission, The Hon Michael Beloff QC has dismissed's du Plessis' appeal after the was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 during the fourth day's play in the second Test against Australia in Hobart," ICC said in a statement.

Accordingly, the original decision of Pycroft will stand, ICC said.

The hearing took place in Dubai on Monday, with du Plessis joining via video link.

"Having carefully considered the legal submissions made by the player and the ICC, Beloff QC confirmed that du Plessis was guilty of breaching Article 2.2.9 and that the original sanction of 100 per cent of his match fee was appropriate," the statement added.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "It is the duty of the ICC to ensure fair play on the cricket field. Although it was not picked up by the umpires at the time, when the incident came to our attention subsequently, we felt it was our responsibility to lay a charge in this case because the ICC can't let such an obvious breach of this Law pass without taking any action.

"We are pleased that both the Match Referee and Beloff QC have agreed with our interpretation of the Laws and hope that this serves as a deterrent to all players not to engage in this sort of unfair practice in the future.

"It goes without saying that we will be reviewing the outcome to determine if any additional guidelines are needed to provide further clarity to the players and umpires around this type of offence. However we are satisfied that the Law is clear and is implemented consistently."

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