Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2013 Contents A67
October 27, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
DUBAI---South Africa s Faf du
Plessis escaped yesterday with
only a fine of 50 percent of his
match fee for ball tampering
during the second Test against
Du Plessis was seen on tele-
vision Friday evening rubbing
the ball on the zipper of his
trouser pocket. The onfield
umpires called up South Africa
captain Graeme Smith, changed
the ball and, in an extremely rare
punishment, awarded Pakistan
five penalty runs.
Du Plessis was spotted by TV
umpire Paul Reiffel from Aus-
The onfield umpires, Ian
Gould and Rod Tucker, reported
the incident to match referee
David Boon soon after the third
day s play and du Plessis was
summoned for the hearing.
"After discussions with Mr du
Plessis ... this was not part of
a deliberate and/or prolonged
attempt to unfairly manipulate
the condition of the ball," Boon
said in a statement as he handed
the fine to du Plessis before the
start of day four. "The imposi-
tion of a fine of 50 percent of
his match fee is appropriate con-
sidering the circumstances."
But the ruling angered Pak-
istan Cricket Board chairman
Najam Sethi, who said he will
be contacting the International
"PCB is writing a letter to the
ICC, seeking explanation of
inconsistency by match referee
in application of ball tampering
rule to Afridi vs Faf," Sethi
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid
Afridi was banned for two
Twenty20 internationals for a
ball tampering offence during a
one-day international against
Australia in 2010.
Du Plessis is the first South
African to be charged for ball
tampering, but former Pakistan
players criticised the ICC for
showing leniency to South
Africa s 29-year-old batsman.
"ICC can t do justice on
merit, it doesn t have any guts
to do so," former Test fast bowler
Shoaib Akhtar said.
In 2003, Akhtar was fined 75
percent of his match fee and was
also banned for two one-day
internationals for ball tampering
during a series in Sri Lanka in
"It s fine if he (du Plessis) got
away with such a punishment,
but if in the future any player
is involved in rubbing the ball
over a zip ... please do hand him
a similar punishment and not
more than that."
Former captain Rashid Latif
said du Plessis should have been
banned for a longer period and
captain Smith should also have
"The punishment is very
lenient. I think Faf should have
been banned for six months ...
plus the captain of the team
should be held responsible and
punished," he said. "I am sur-
prised. ... They ban a captain
on a minor offense for slow over
rate but for a crime shown on
television in front of the whole
world, you get a punishment of
only 50 percent of the match
It s only the second time in
the history of Test cricket that
5 penalty runs were awarded to
any team for ball tampering.
Pakistan was at the receiving
end during the Oval Test in
2006, the last and only time a
team was penalised five runs for
ball tampering in a Test match.
Then Pakistan captain Inza-
mam-ul-Haq reacted strongly
and decided not to continue the
test in protest. Australia umpire
Darrell Hair responded by
awarding the game to England
--- the only forfeit in the history
of test cricket.
This month, the ICC amended
its laws regarding the condition
of balls, saying "if a player
responsible can be identified"
the ball will be changed, a five-
run penalty will be awarded, and
the player responsible will be
Vice-captain AB de Villiers
defended his teammate yester-
day and said his team doesn t
"Honestly, we re not the team
that scratches the ball," de Vil-
liers said. "We don t cheat, it s
as simple as that. I know Faffy
very well, he s the last man to
try anything like that."
Pakistan s Waqar Younis was
the first international player to
receive a sanction for ball tam-
pering when in 2000 he was
fined 50 percent of his match
fee and suspended from a one-
day international. All-rounder
Azhar Mahmmod is the other
Pakistani who had been fined
for ball tampering.
Other international players
who have been handed fines,
suspensions or both include
India s Rahul Dravid and Sachin
Tendulkar and England s Michael
Du Plessis fined
for ball tampering DUBAI---South Africa captain
Graeme Smith says his No 1-ranked
Test side is not good enough yet to
be compared with the great Australia
and West Indies teams.
Smith scored a double century and led
the Proteas to an innings-and-92-run
win over Pakistan in the second test with
a day to spare to level the two-match
series yesterday. Pakistan won the first
Test, also inside four days, to end South
Africa s 15-Test unbeaten run since 2011.
"We ve still got a lot we need to do
before we can even be compared to great
teams that dominated for many, many
years," Smith said.
The victory protected the Proteas
record of not losing a Test series away
from home for seven years since it lost
in Sri Lanka 2-0 in 2006.
"That record away from home is an
extremely proud one to have," Smith said.
"I don t think many teams ... can travel
as well as we do and be able to perform
in all the conditions, the pressures, the
environments that you face on the road.
"From our perspective, we really want
to dominate, we want to play good cricket,
and set a standard and I think we are
long way from doing that, but certainly
we are on the right path."
Their 11th win in the last 16 was taint-
ed, however, by ball tampering by Faf du
Plessis, who was docked 50 percent of
his match fee, a punishment which was
described as lenient by former Pakistan
Test cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid
When asked whether his team s victory
was spoiled by du Plessis, Smith said
"No." On the positive side, the 34-year-
old Pakistan-born legspinner Imran Tahir
made an impressive return to Tests for
South Africa after a return of 0-260
against Australia at Adelaide 11 months
Tahir took 8-130 in the match, but his
5-32 made a difference in the first innings
as Pakistan was bowled out for 99 in just
under three hours on the first day.
"I think he showed immense amount
of character to bounce back...and it epit-
omises the type of group we have," Smith
Smith: South Africa on the right path
Brendon McCullum, the New
Zealand captain, and Ross Taylor will
miss the limited-overs tour to Sri
Lanka, which starts on November 10,
in order to prepare for the home
series against West Indies.
Kane Williamson will lead New
Zealand in the three ODIs and two
T20Is in Sri Lanka. Luke Ronchi and
Ian Butler will replace McCullum and
Taylor in the squad.
Bruce Edgar, New Zealand Cricket s
general manager---national selection, said
the pair will not travel to Sri Lanka so
that they can have "red-ball preparation"
ahead of the home series against West
Indies. New Zealand are scheduled to play
three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is
against West Indies, between December
3 and January 15, 2014. This will be fol-
lowed by a home series against India,
comprising five ODIs and two Tests,
between January 19 and February 18, 2014.
"Ross and Brendon need red-ball
preparation to be at their best for the
summer," Edgar said. "Both players are
vital to our success and fine-tuning their
red-ball skills before the West Indies series
starting in early December is paramount."
McCullum and Ross will play in the Plun-
ket Shield, New Zealand s first-class com-
petition, and are also likely to feature in
a few games for New Zealand XI before
the first Test against West Indies on
December 3. Edgar also said that the board
was trying to manage player workloads
effectively in the lead-up to bigger com-
petitions, like the World Cup 2015, and
stressed that resting senior players allowed
the team to develop a larger talent pool
in limited-overs cricket.
"This summer we have 37 days of inter-
national cricket at home and Brendon
and Ross are expected to play all of these,
so it s essential that we manage their
workloads," he said. "It s important we
provide game time to a wider playing
group in one-dayers and Twenty20s, and
establish a bigger bench of playing expe-
rience with the upcoming Twenty20
World Cup in Bangladesh next year and
World Cup 2015 beyond that."
New Zealand will play the first two
ODIs against Sri Lanka on November 10
and 12 in Hambantota, followed by the
third ODI in Dambulla on November 16.
The two T20Is will be held in Kandy on
November 19 and 21.
McCullum, Tayl mi S i Lanka u
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