Du Plessis faces punishment over tampering during Pakistan Test

Dubai, South African player Faf du Plessis faces punishment after he was summoned for a hearing into alleged ball tampering during the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai, an official confirmed on Saturday.

The South African team were penalised five runs and umpires ordered the ball to be changed on the third day of the Test.

South Africa media officer Lerato Malekutu confirmed to AFP that Du Plessis was the player summoned by match referee David Boon of Australia.

“The hearing took place Friday night and we will have an outcome on Saturday,” said the official.

Du Plessis, South Africa’s Twenty20 captain, faces a range of possible penalties including forfeiting his match fees and suspension from future games — he could miss one Test, two one-day internationals or two Twenty20s.

South Africa vice-captain AB de Villiers Friday denied the ball-tampering allegations.

“Honestly, we’re not the team that scratches the ball,” de Villiers 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.”

De Villiers said du Plessis was given the task to look after the shine on the ball.

“It’s not an easy job, I thought he did it very well,” de Villiers said.

Pakistan is the only team previously to have been penalised five penalty runs for ball tampering, against England in the Oval Test of 2006.

Pakistan’s then captain Inzamam-ul-Haq walked off in anger, prompting Australian umpire Darrell Hair to declare the Test forfeited — the only such instance in Test cricket’s history.