Cricket: Australia admit to same ball-shining tactics as Faf du Plessis

Australian captain Steve Smith looks on. Photo / Alan Gibson
Australian captain Steve Smith looks on. Photo / Alan Gibson

Australia admit using the same sweet ball-shining tactics that have left South African captain Faf du Plessis feeling like a scapegoat of world cricket.

While du Plessis insists he's no cheat, Australian captain Steve Smith says his team adopt the same controversial tactic - using sweet-enhanced saliva to shine the ball.

"I make it very clear that we haven't come out and said anything about Faf or about how he was shining the ball," Smith told reporters on Wednesday.

"We, along with every other team around the world, shine the ball the same way."

Du Plessis on Tuesday was found guilty of ball tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC), but avoided a ban for the third Test against the Australians, starting on Thursday in Adelaide.

Du Plessis doesn't expect to be sledged by the Australians during the Test because they use the same ploy.

"The Aussies won't talk about it at all because they know it's part of their team as well," du Plessis told reporters on Wednesday.

He maintained his innocence as South Africa's squad summoned lawyers to decide whether to appeal the ICC decision.

"The verdict was that I was guilty. I still completely disagree with that. I felt like I have done nothing wrong," du Plessis said.

"I think there's two ways of looking at it ... ball shining versus ball tampering.

"For me, if you talk about ball tampering, that is something that is wrong - that is picking (at) the ball, scratching the ball.

"Shining the ball, all cricketers will say, is not in the same space."

Du Plessis felt singled out after being caught by television cameras shining the ball while having a mint in his mouth during the second Test against Australia in Hobart.

"Obviously the ICC has taken a stance against me, to use me as a scapegoat now," he said.

"But all I can ask for is that everyone gets treated the same."

Du Plessis said his guilty verdict was "opening up a can of worms with what is going to happen now".

"It's not like I was trying to cheat or anything. I was shining the ball, and I see no problem with that," he said.

"I think what they are talking about is sugar or sugary substance or saliva are the terms being thrown around.

"I think that is so dangerous because 90 per cent of the time, cricketers have got sugary saliva, whether we're drinking Powerade, Coke, Gatorade, sugary sweets, sucking on jellies.

"It's just a such grey area in the laws of cricket. It's obviously something now to be looked at."

Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat called on the ICC to take a consistent approach.

"It's not something new. But it's something that needs to be looked at," Lorgat said on Wednesday.

"We owe it to the fans, we owe it to the players, that the game is properly administered and, consistently, all of the laws are applied.

"There was footage that we've seen of other players in exactly the same scenario ... we want to define the rules more carefully and then it must be applied properly."

- AAP

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