Proteas captain Faf du Plessis can appeal the ICCs decision to fine him 100% of his match fee fine and the three demerit points he was docked for ball tampering. File picture: Dave Hunt

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis will appeal the ICC’s decision to fine him 100% of his match fee fine and the three demerit points he was docked on Tuesday in relation to the charge of ball tampering in the second Test against Australia in Hobart last week.

Regardless of the appeal, Du Plessis is available to play in the third and final Test in Adelaide on Thursday.

The ICC said in a statement: "The decision was based on the evidence given from the umpires, who confirmed that had they seen the incident they would have taken action immediately, and from Mr Stephenson [MCC head of cricket John Stephenson], who confirmed the view of MCC that the television footage showed an artificial substance being transferred to the ball."

In summing up his decision match referee Andy Pycroft referred to his role as requiring him to make a determination based on the ICC Code of Conduct, the Laws of Cricket and, in particular, the preamble to the Laws of Cricket and the role of the umpires as the sole judges of fair and unfair play.

Du Plessis, who pleaded not guilty to the charge has not yet received Pycoft’s written decision and can lodge an appeal within 48 hours of receipt of the written decision of the match referee.

The South African skipper did not attend training as he was required to be present at the hearing with team manager Mohammed Moosajee. David Becker, the former general counsel for the ICC, assisted Du Plessis via teleconference with legal advice.

Under the version of the Code that came into force on 22 September 2016, the offence was treated as a first offence. Pursuant to Article 7.6 of the Code, if Du Plessis reaches four or more demerit points within a 24-month period, they will be converted into suspension points and he will be banned. Two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first for the player.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo, who spoke to the media an hour before Du Plessis’s hearing did not want to be critical of the ICC’s processes, but did believe his captain committed a routine practise out on the cricket field.

"You see it daily with those types of instances taking place on the field. I don't want to talk about the [Faf] incident too much but it seems to be a daily occurrence on the field of play so they [the administrators] might need to re-look at that should they feel its not within the spirit of the game," Domingo told the media.

The fine is Du Plessis's second for ball tampering after previously being docked 50% of his match fees after being caught on TV working the ball over the pocket zip in a Test against Pakistan in 2013.

Independent Media