Du Plessis: Ball tampering incident worse than ‘mintgate’

Faf du Plessis ball tampering incident more serious mintgate Steve Smith Cameron Bancroft South Africa Australia 3rd Test Cape Town cricket

Faf du Plessis: “Ball shining versus ball tampering are two very different situations and one is much more serious than the other”

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South Africa captain Faf du Plessis firmly believes that the ball tampering incident was much worse than his infamous ‘mintgate’ scandal in 2016.

Du Plessis’ comments come after Australia captain Steve Smith and opener Cameron Bancroft admitted that they had attempted to alter the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test against the Proteas in Cape Town.

As a result of their actions, Smith was banned for one Test and fined 100 percent of his match fee, while Bancroft was docked 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points.

As for the ‘mintgate’ incident, it occurred when South Africa toured Australia in 2016. During the second Test in Hobart, Du Plessis was seen sucking on a mint and using the saliva in his mouth to shine the ball.

The sparked a major controversy and the International Cricket Council (ICC) eventually fined him 100 percent of his match fee for attempting to illegally change the condition of the ball.

When asked if the ball tampering incident was worse than the ‘mintgate’ scandal, Du Plessis was quoted by Sport24 as saying: “For me, yes. Ball shining versus ball tampering are two very different situations and one is much more serious than the other.

“It’s so difficult to say which is right and which is wrong. I think he is trying to take responsibility, so there is right in that. But there is also right in people being responsible for their own actions.”

However, Du Plessis admitted that he knows what Smith is going through as he experienced the same kind of treatment back in 2016.

“I can understand it’s a really tough time for him to be in right now,” Du Plessis said. “The situation that I was in was really difficult for me as well because people were attacking me and my personality and character. I felt it was wrong and not fair. I don’t know how he feels about his own personal situation but I can imagine it’s a very tough time.”

Despite this, Du Plessis hinted that he doesn’t think all the reaction to the ball tampering incident has been blown out of proportion.

“When I was in Australia it felt like the same,” he said. “I was being followed everywhere I went, so the media for me looked the same as what it does now.”

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