A video grab shows Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball on his trousers which had a zip on them. – Dawn.com
A video grab shows Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball on his trousers which had a zip on them. – Dawn.com
AB de Villiers. – AFP Photo
AB de Villiers. – AFP Photo
Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis

DUBAI: South Africa were docked five penalty runs for ball-tampering on the third day of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai on Friday.

Television replays showed South African fielder Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball on his trousers which had a zip on them, in an apparent attempt to tamper with the ball.

Umpires Rod Tucker of Australia and England's Ian Gould called South African captain Graeme Smith, changed the ball and added five runs to Pakistan's score.

Pakistan were struggling at 62 for three with Dale Steyn about to start the 31st over when the umpires took notice of the ball and took the decision.

Under International Cricket Council (ICC) rule 42.1 on tampering, if an umpire spots a change in the condition of the ball but doesn't know who is the culprit, he will issue a first and final warning to the captain and the ball will be changed.

In case the ball is tampered with again, the bowling team will face a five-run penalty and umpires will not only change the ball again but the captain will be held responsible and reported.

But in this case the umpires saw Du Plessis rubbing the ball in an apparent move to tamper with the ball and they called Smith and docked five penalty runs.

An ICC spokesman confirmed the incident.

“As per 42.1 of the ICC playing conditions, the umpires replaced the ball and fined South Africa five penalty runs for ball tampering,” said an ICC spokesman.

“We don't cheat,” says AB de Villiers

Reacting on the incident, AB de Villiers said the Proteas were not cheats.

“Honestly, we're not the team that scratches the ball,” he insisted. “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.”

De Villiers said du Plessis, South Africa's captain in Twenty20s, was responsible for looking after the condition of the ball and keeping the shine on. “It's not an easy job, I thought he did it very well,” de Villiers said.

The South African wicket keeper batsman said he had no idea how the umpires discovered the ball's condition had changed. “There was no talk about it, no warnings and nothing, it was just out of nowhere,” he said.

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 Inzamam-ul-Haq reacted strongly and decided not to continue the test in protest. Australia umpire Darrell Hair reacted 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 reported.

It's expected the umpires will lay a charge against du Plessis to match referee David Boon, and a hearing held late Friday.

Du Plessis faces a range of penalties; a 50 to 100 per cent fine of his match fees, a suspension from one test and two one-day internationals or two Twenty20s, whichever is played first.

Published Oct 25, 2013 05:24pm

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Comments (27) (Closed)

Oct 25, 2013 06:14pm

Every team tampers with the ball. Some are experts while the others are novices :).

Oct 25, 2013 07:35pm

That is just stupid thing to do if you are in really strong position.

Oct 25, 2013 07:56pm

1 team with #2 characteristics. I wonder what (kind)penalty these #1 team will get. I literally mean KIND, or may be they will get away with it, since they are the #1. I feel sorry for the Pakistani people, their Eid gift of winning the first test has turned into a nightmare.

God save cricket, as the rest of the sports have already brought disgrace to our country. This sport is last nail in the coffin.

Oct 25, 2013 08:46pm

Thank God it was not a Pakistani other wise the penalty would have been like, life time ban or something.

Oct 25, 2013 09:05pm

Why are the western tabloids so mute on this story? If it were a south asian player this would have been a front page news.

Oct 25, 2013 09:25pm

Correction: The forfeit has recently been overturned into a draw.

Oct 25, 2013 11:29pm

A game won with cheating is worth nothing.

Masood Hussain
Oct 25, 2013 11:30pm

Why there no uproar at Proteas being caught cheating.Had it been any member of Pak team,Hell would have broken amongst the Cricket World..

Oct 26, 2013 12:25am

Shame for a world class team to do such thing especially on a winning track. What action ICC will take is a matter worth waiting

Oct 26, 2013 01:12am

Yes you were not tampering the ball - the world is crazy, only you are right. One word - Moron!

You have been caught, now face the music. The rule should be same for all teams. I assume they will be let off just like England were... despite clear video evidence of using boot spikes for scuffing the ball.

Oct 26, 2013 01:49am

Of course Proteas don't cheat, I am with ABCD. But the cameras don't lie either. I have to change my thinking.

Oct 26, 2013 01:49am

Idiots, they are winning, why cheat

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad
Oct 26, 2013 03:52am

is a fact that every team in the world does ball tampering directly or indirectly, implicitly or explicitly, knowingly or unknowingly and only the few unfortunate, the few untrained, the few overconfident, the few arrogant, the few complacent and the few carefree are caught. Rest either win matches or take bundles of wickets.

Oct 26, 2013 06:57am

A 5-run penalty is not enough ... such 'cheating' MUST result in forfeit of the match. Only then will it stop.

This is almost like Wall Street; you 'steal' and get caught. Usually the fine is about the same amount as what you stole. No dis-incentive to NOT steal.

Oct 26, 2013 07:40am

AB, please say I don't cheat. Your colleagues have cheated. Don't talk on their behalf. On your own, I am sure you would never cheat.

Zaheer Ahmed
Oct 26, 2013 08:29am

Now we know why South Africa has Faf Du Plessis in the team. He had scored 27 runs in the series and had struggled against Pakistani bowlers but he seems to be the winning formulae for Proteas. He should be giving his trouser with zipped pocket for rent to other teams.

Oct 26, 2013 03:45pm


Every thief went caught says he is innocent and Du plessis was caught tampering with the ball.

Remind us of Hansie Cronje scandal which opened a pandora box world wide. Lets hope the remaining pride of cricket is not damaged by foolish acts on the field.



Karachi Bhai
Oct 26, 2013 05:02pm

For long time I was wondering how come this SA team which doesn't look that strong is number One and has not lost a test series for five years. Now we know the answer -how and why. Thanks for the smart camera work.

Oct 26, 2013 07:18pm

Mr Honest AB, Cronje and Gibbs were also not cheaters, ....please also give us a certificate that we also dont cheat, we only bowled 2 intentional no balls...

Oct 26, 2013 09:15pm

ABD stop claiming we do not cheat after what your team did in Dubai we need no argument, what you do or you do not but this is a fact that your team cheated and you as a v/capt is fully responsible either to say sorry to all cricket playing nation or stop plying with dishonest team if you do not cheat.

Oct 27, 2013 02:19am

@km: Regretfully, some idiots don't want to see the camera witness, as it is not a human.

Oct 27, 2013 02:22am

@saima: It was very difficult to read without glasses. Couldn't you find a bigger font ?

Syed Ali
Oct 27, 2013 07:50am

What kind of a silly statement is that by de Villiers.."we don't cheat"!!! If it wasn't cheating, why was the bowler fined 50% of his fee? It is so unfair & unfortunate that when someone from non-white countries does something...it becomes a BIG issue...and when a white guy does something similar.."they don't cheat". de Villiers shouldn't have opened his big mouth!!!

Syed Ali
Oct 27, 2013 08:00am

@AB: Pardon me..but how do you know he would "NEVER" cheat? Isn't he a human being..or perhaps a super man!!!

Syed Ali
Oct 27, 2013 07:56am

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad: Sorry, doc..but yours is a very generalized statement!!! Would have been better if you had given some concrete examples as to how it is done!!!

Syed Ali
Oct 27, 2013 08:06am

@Nadir: Oh, am so horrified at your ignorance!!! Don't you know the third world countries' teams are colored!!!

Syed Ali
Oct 27, 2013 08:09am

@M: Sir, are you an expert on tampering..& teach how it could be done? Perhaps you would be in great demand.