Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Dubai, 3rd day October 25, 2013

South Africa penalised for ball-tampering


South Africa penalised for ball-tampering

South Africa were penalised five runs for ball-tampering on the third day of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai. Faf du Plessis was the player in the centre of the controversy and the ICC said its ruling on the incident will be announced tomorrow.

The ICC confirmed that the five-run penalty and the change of ball after 30 overs was due to ball-tampering. "As per 42.1 of the ICC playing conditions, the umpires replaced the ball and fined South Africa team five penalty runs for ball-tampering," an ICC spokesperson said.

The incident took place at the start of the 31st over of Pakistan's innings, two overs after tea, when umpires Ian Gould and Rod Tucker called South African captain Graeme Smith for a chat. The fourth umpire, Shozab Raza, brought a box of balls onto the field and a new one was selected for use.

No individual player has been charged yet but television images showed du Plessis rubbing the ball allegedly on the zipper of his trouser pocket.

The playing conditions (see sidebar) dealing with ball-tampering were changed recently, coming into effect only from October 1. Any player found guilty of ball-tampering, which is a Level Two offence, will be fined 50 to 100% of his match fee and/or get a ban of one Test or two ODIs or two Twenty20s, whichever come first.

South Africa were well in control of the Test, having taken a commanding 418-run first-innings lead, when the incident occurred.

The only other time a team was handed a five-run penalty for ball-tampering was in the infamous Oval Test in 2006, in which Pakistan refused to take the field after the umpires deemed that the seam on the ball had been raised.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Salman Habib raises an interesting point, but was the Law worded exactly this way back in 2006 or were umpires then empowered to issue a 5-run penalty without warning? Either way, the Law doesn't make provision for a team to refuse to take the field simply because they feel they've been badly done by. Then (as with SA in this match) five runs were neither here nor there, and the adult thing to have done would be to finish winning it and take any necessary steps afterwards.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    People drawing parallel with the oval incident should realize that the sanction 42.1.2 was applicable there as there was hard proof evidence in that match against any player unlike this match and no player was identified for ball tampering. Hence 5 runs awarded in that match was in contrast with the law

  • Md. Rakibuzzaman on October 26, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    I don't to join the argument whether the punishment is soft or hard, What really interesting is if the incident happens in opposing side i.e Pakistani bowlers may did the a same thing , it will get much media coverage, probably harder punishment. SA should be treated equally, nothing more , nothing less

  • Tom on October 26, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Posted by Ateeq Farooq on (October 26, 2013, 6:03 GMT) Why they charged for only 5 runs. This is not a small crime. ICC and match referee should take some action about it. They have evidence

    The same reason Pakistan were only charged five runs at the Oval. That's what the rules say.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    It's truly remarkable to see how Pakistan fans are calling for tougher penalties when the last time this happened their team thought a 5-run penalty was excessive and unfair

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Completely agree that a 5 run penalty is a joke but give the ICC a day or two to announce larger penalties and sanctions. Regarding the forfeit in 2006, remember that was caused by Pakistan refusing to take the field, not because of the ball tampering incident.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    you too Brutus? your team is known for its levelheadedness.One is really surprised.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    ICC will make a decision after the conclusion of the test. Consider the Afridi chapter, i'm sure players will be banned for some games and rightly so. Otherwise, the penalty should be made more severe to deter it from happening it again.

  • Android on October 26, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    could you bellive it? how come if it would have happend to an asian team what would have the reaction of ICC

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Why they charged for only 5 runs. This is not a small crime. ICC and match referee should take some action about it. They have evidence

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