Du Plessis believes Australia have 'learnt' from ball-tampering row

back icon
05 Jul 2019 | 06:54 PM

Du Plessis believes Australia have 'learnt' from ball-tampering row

Faf believes Smith and Warner will be remembered for their cricket achievements



South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes Steve Smith and David Warner will be remembered for their cricket achievements rather than a ball-tampering scandal as they prepare to face the Proteas for the first time since last year’s controversial Test in Cape Town. 

Then Australia captain Smith and Warner, his deputy, were both given 12-month bans for their roles in the build-up to an extraordinary incident that saw Cameron Bancroft apply sandpaper to the ball while fielding at Newlands in a breach of the rules. 

The fall-out was dramatic, with Smith and Warner banned and sent home from the tour by Cricket Australia, who then engaged in a root and branch review of team ethics. 

But fast forward to the ongoing World Cup and an Australia side featuring Smith and Warner following the conclusion of their bans are in the semi-finals even before they face the Proteas in Saturday’s concluding group match at Old Trafford. 

Meanwhile du Plessis, the home captain in Cape Town, is leading a South Africa side whose own hopes of a last four place disappeared long ago in the 10-team tournament. 

Warner has scored more than 500 runs at this World Cup and Smith has looked in good touch as well, with du Plessis telling reporters at Old Trafford on Friday: “Certainly, they are extremely hungry to perform at international cricket again. 

“I think any player that is as good as the two of them that will get taken away from playing at the highest stage will come back extremely motivated. And I think you can see that the two of them are and they are doing well and scoring runs.” 

As for whether their careers would be known for ball-tampering above all else, du Plessis said: “Whether the game will remember them for that, I don’t think so. 

“I think their records and their performances will speak much louder than one incident as a one-off. 

“I think they are probably better, not -- I won’t say people -- but if you can look at them now you can see as a team, obviously, the Australian culture looks like it’s really good, so they have learnt from that and they have made themselves stronger for it. 

“I think that’s a good sign for anyone. All of us make mistakes. It is about how you learn and how you move forward.” 

A bitter series also saw du Plessis leave the changing room at Durban’s Kingsmead to witness a stairwell row between Warner and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock. 

Du Plessis, who just had a towel around him at the time, insisted there had been no talk among the Proteas’ World Cup squad about the incidents in Durban and Cape Town. 

“Not really, apart from me putting a shirt on next time,” he said with a smile. 

“No chat. It was serious but it was funny watching that video (there was CCTV footage), so that’s probably something we will be remembered for, the stairwell.”

Won’t rush his future

Faf du Plessis said he plans to consider his South Africa future once the dust of a disappointing World Cup campaign has settled. 

The Proteas arrived in England with high hopes but have long been out of the race for semi-final qualification, having won just two out of eight matches heading into Saturday’s group-stage finale against Australia. 

The 34-year-old batsman, South Africa’s captain in all formats since September 2017, admitted Friday he was approaching a key moment in his career.

“My plan for myself was to commit fully to the World Cup and not even think of anything else,” du Plessis said. 

“I didn’t want my mind to start drifting into the future. I wanted to be completely present. 

“Right now is possibly not the best time to be making decisions because you are disappointed. You don’t want to be in this mode when you’re making career decisions. 

“It’s a case of taking some time off and reflecting on what the future is like for me and what my purpose is going forward.” 

South Africa’s next major assignment is a tour of India and du Plessis said: “I feel in terms of my own game, the last year is certainly the best I have ever played. There are no question marks there.” 

The weakness of the Rand to other currencies has seen several players cut short their South Africa careers to play cricket on better financial terms elsewhere. 

Some, such as Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott have opted to play English county cricket under the ‘Kolpak’ ruling, which applies to countries such as South Africa that have trade agreements with the European Union. 

Meanwhile outstanding batsman AB de Villiers has become a ‘gun for hire’ in the world’s lucrative Twenty20 franchise leagues. 

Asked if there was anything the International Cricket Council could do to stop the exodus, du Plessis replied: “The ICC certainly not. Cricket South Africa, I know they have been trying to put things into place. 

“That will become the biggest issue for us to try and stay away from for all players and that’s, you know, including myself.” 

Saturday’s match comes 20 years after Australia and South Africa’s stunning tied World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston that got down to the last over with the Proteas needing one to win and one wicket standing. 

But a mix-up between Lance Klusener and Allan Donald saw the latter run out. 

“You think Lance, who was seeing the ball big, could take down a boundary at any stage of that over,” recalled du Plessis. 

“But then you put yourself in that situation, it’s not always as easy as it looks. 

shareGray Share
Faf du PlessisSouth AfricaICC Cricket World Cup 2019ICC World Cup 2019

Related Articles

Du Plessis preparing for unexpected Test series in Pakistan
The 36-year-old is expected to form the nucleus of the Proteas batting in the upcoming two-test series against Pakistan
21 Jan 2021
Du Plessis backs double quarantine to salvage T20 World Cup
The tournament is due to be played in October-November but there is uncertainty after the cancellation of other major sporting events
14 May 2020
Du Plessis steps down as South Africa captain
Du Plessis has led South Africa in 112 international matches
17 Feb 2020
Du Plessis, Root play down on-field incident
Du Plessis appeared to bump into Buttler while exchanging words with Broad on the fourth afternoon of the fourth Test
28 Jan 2020
We go to Pune with more confidence: Du Plessis
South Africa lost the first Test against India by 203 runs
06 Oct 2019
Australia's World Cup confidence an 'extra player' says Du Plessis
South Africa's win meant Australia will face England in the semis
08 Jul 2019
Du Plessis blasts 'mediocre' South Africa after World Cup exit
Du Plessis also said he would not give up captaincy duties
25 Jun 2019
South Africa lick wounds after more World Cup agony
The Proteas’ hopes of reaching the semi-finals are all but over
20 Jun 2019
Du Plessis urges South Africa to slay World Cup ghosts
Every game from here on is almost a must-win for South Africa
14 Jun 2019
Harsh words' to be expected, warns Du Plessis
South Africa were stunned by Bangladesh at The Oval
03 Jun 2019
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved