Faf Compares Steve Smith Incident With Mintgate
By CricShots - Mar 26, 2018 10:17 am
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Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis reckons that the Australian ball tampering that took place during the third Test at Newlands was worse than anything he did during the infamous ‘Mintgate’ scandal of 2016. During a Test match in Hobart that year, Cameras had shown Du Plessis sucking on a mint and then shining the ball with the saliva that he had generated from the mint.

Faf du Plessis

During the Newlands Test, it was Aussie skipper Steve Smith’s turn to go through a similar grilling. Smith has been suspended for the fourth Test at the Wanderers after admitting on Saturday that he was one of the responsible persons to rough up the ball and aid reverse swing on day three.

Also read: Former Cricketers Comes Hard On Steve Smith

Cameron Bancroft was the man, who actually executed the plan, but cameras caught him in the act and it resulted in an emotional post-day confession from the 25-year-old opener and his captain. Bancroft received three demerit points and will be available for the Wanderers Test, with Smith on the receiving end of almost all of the global criticism.

Du Plessis, when asked to compare this to what he went through in 2016, felt that the situations were different. He said, “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.”

Steve Smith

Faf avoided a ban in Australia and scored a ton in the next Test – South Africa won the series 2-1 – but he did empathise with the Aussie skipper. He said, “I can understand it’s a really tough time for him to be in right now. 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.”

Also read: Sourav Ganguly Feels That Ball-Tampering Case Will Haunt Steve Smith

Du Plessis was not so sure that the reaction to the Smith/Bancroft incident was being blown out of proportion. He said, “When I was in Australia it felt like the same. I was being followed everywhere I went, so the media for me looked the same as what it does now.”

Meanwhile, South Africa took a 2-1 series lead on Sunday against Australia after taking 10 wickets in the final session to win by 322 runs. For the captain, that is all that matters.