Du Plessis: ICC using me as scapegoat

South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis was unhappy with being found guilty of ball tampering and believes he has been made a “scapegoat”.

The batsman was cleared to face Australia in the third Test, but was fined by the ICC after footage emerged of him applying saliva from a mint or sweet to the ball during the encounter in Hobart.

Du Plessis, joined by Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat for a news conference on Wednesday, called on the ICC to clarify the ball-tampering rule.

The 32-year-old also believes the ICC has used him to set an example.

“I just ask that everyone gets treated the same way. I think that’s fair,” Du Plessis said.

“Obviously the ICC has taken a stance against me to use me probably as the scapegoat now, but all you can ask for is that everyone gets treated the same.”

Du Plessis said he disagreed with the decision, pointing to a difference between shining the ball and tampering.

“Yesterday was the hearing and the verdict was that I was guilty. I still completely disagree with that. I felt like I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.

“I think there’s two ways of looking at it, I think you can either look at it as ball shining versus ball tampering.

“For me, if you talk about ball tampering, that is something that’s wrong, it’s picking the ball, it’s scratching the ball. Shining the ball is something I think all cricketers would say is not in the same space. It is something that all the cricketers do.

“I think there’ll be a lot of emphasis, especially now after this incident, where the game is going, what the ICC is going to do about it.

“If I was sitting here and talking about ball tampering and scratching I would’ve said to you guys that two wrongs don’t make a right, but I don’t believe in shining actually being wrong.

“It’s not like I was trying to cheat or anything, I was shining a ball and I see no problem with that.”

South Africa carry a 2-0 lead into the third and final Test of the series in Adelaide starting Thursday.

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