South African experienced batsman, Hashim Amla on behalf of the whole squad, coined ball tempering allegations on their standing test skipper Faf Du Plessis as “ridiculous” and “a joke”.
Amla addressed media at the MCG on Friday afternoon along with the whole squad and the support staff to show solidarity with the captain. Du Plessis was there with the team, but, he was silent in the background and instead Hashim Amla took charge of the whole situation
The calm and composed batsman looked aggressive and spoke out of his skin against the allegations of ball tempering put on South African skipper, who has led the team to a 2-0 lead in the series. Match officials did not report the incident to the ICC, instead the cricketing body was alerted by media reports and they eventually chose to weigh the footage.
“Good afternoon everybody. As you can see we have the full team here behind us,” Amla started off the proceedings. “The reason everybody is here is to stand together and to show solidarity to what has been something we actually thought was a joke. It’s not April. But the allegations against Faf were really, for us, a ridiculous thing and as a team we are standing strong. For us it is basically a joke. The boys are here, standing strong.”
Amla came to talk to media a bit unprepared as he did not know that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is analysing Faf’s footage of shining the ball with a sweet or mint in his mouth as he asked to confirmed this from his teammates when he was questioned about it.
However, Amla stood firm that his captain has done nothing wrong, “Whether it is or not, we’ve done nothing wrong and Faf has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
“I chew bubblegum while I am fielding. Do you want me to brush my teeth after lunch every time I come out?”
“You’ve got to be logical about this, common sense surely should prevail. If I’ve got something in my mouth, guys are handing out red froggies at lunch time to give the kids, keep them hydrated, energise them and we are in the field for two hours. We eat nuts, biltong, that sort of thing. There was no malicious intent,” he added.
The star batsman told that he was unaware that putting saliva on the ball while having a sweet can reverse swing the ball.
“Is it proven or what?” he questioned. “That’s something that’s new to us. I’ve had sweets in my mouth, bubblegum in my mouth, biltong, nuts, I’m not sure what the big deal is. Are you sure it (an advantage) can be gained? We don’t know. I can only speak for what my captain has done.”
Hashim Amla also expressed his reservation that all this ball tempering saga might have come on the scene to take the credit away from the Proteas for their dominance against the mighty Aussies.
“To me and to a lot of people, it is sounding like sour sweets for people in their heads that we’ve played really good cricket and the timing of it is that it’s a bit weird too,” he said.
He further said that everyone one in South African rank believes that Faf Du Plessis is innocent, “I am just trying to clear what we think is an absolutely wrongful allegation made on our captain. We are standing in solidarity to our captain who has done absolutely nothing wrong. It’s pretty clear what we are trying to do you here. As I said, we’ve done nothing wrong. If there was any doubt whatsoever, you wouldn’t have the full team here. We’ve just basically done nothing wrong.”
Two hours after Amla’s session, the South African skipper was formally charged by the ICC for ball tempering and pleaded not guilty.
The hearing date for Faf Du Plessis has not been announced yet, it can be before or after the Adelaide test, which is scheduled from next Thursday. However, if he is found guilty, he can face suspension for one test match.