South Africa taunt Australia as Lollygate turns bitter
South Africa have not taken ball-tampering charges against their stand-in Test captain Faf du Plessis too kindly. The Proteas are not missing an opportunity to mock at the beleaguered Australians.cricket Updated: Nov 22, 2016 01:42 IST
It’s clear that the South Africa cricket team are not out to win fans in Australia. If anything, since their arrival Down Under last month, the Proteas have quickly become public enemy No. 1.
First they thrashed Australia by 177 runs at Perth. Then they recorded their biggest win over the hosts in over 40 years at Hobart, a third straight Test series win in Australia and caused a regime change that saw chief selector Rod Marsh step down and five players axed.
And then there’s the Lollygate. Step-in captain Faf du Plessis was last week charged for breaching the ICC code of conduct for an alleged act ofball tampering. Du Plessis faces one-Test suspension on the back of Channel 9 footage from the second Test that showed the 32-year-old shining the ball after licking his fingers when there appeared to be a sweet in his mouth.
South Africa players, naturally,decided to mock the allegations.
On the first day of the tour game against Victoria XI on Saturday, South Africa pacers Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel binged on candies and then made a search for lollies left in their mouths following a drinks break.
Abbott’s light-hearted dig at the ICC reinforces senior member Hashim Amla’s reading of the issue.
“For us it is basically a joke,” Amla had said in a mini-speech at Friday’s press conference at the MCG. “I chew bubblegum while I am fielding. Do you want me to brush my teeth after lunch every time I come out? You’ve got to be logical about this, common sense surely should prevail.”
Du Plessis, a serial offender?
Be that as it may, Du Plessis’ record is not of a boy scout either. Long the shiner-in-chief for South Africa, du Plessis was fined for rubbing the ball on a trouser zipper during a 2013 Test against Pakistan.
Earlier, several South Africa players lashed out against the allegations on Twitter.
Dale Steyn, whose fractured shoulder is set to keep him out of action for six months, on Saturday tweeted, “Beaten with the bat. Beaten with the ball. Beaten in the field. Mentally stronger. Here’s a idea, Let’s blame it on a lollipop, #soft.”
Fellow pacer Kagiso Rabada also added his two cents by posting a dictionary definition of the word “excuse”.
Interestingly, not a single person from the Australian camp made a complaint against Du Plessis.
The tourists’ antics have not helped the team’s public image problems. To make matters worse on Monday, a security official travelling with the team shoved an enthusiastic Australian reporter against a glass doorin Adelaide airport.
No matter what the resolution is now, the episodes have certainly left a bitter taste in a lot of mouths.