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Lollygate turns ugly, South Africa security staff roughs up Aussie TV reporter

Security staff aligned with the South African cricket team roughed up an Australian journalist who wanted to speak to Faf du Plessis in the wake of the Lollygate scandal.

cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2016 13:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Cricket South Africa,Faf du Plessis,South AFrica
Security staff, aligned with the South African cricket team, roughed up an Australian TV reporter who was looking for a quick reaction from Faf du Plessis.(TWITTER)

It’s getting really bitter as South Africa arrived in Adelaide hot on the heels of the Lollygate scandal that involved their Test captain Faf du Plessis. The third Test in Adelaide, a pink ball affair, starts on Thursday.

Security staff, aligned with the South African cricket team, roughed up an Australian TV reporter who was looking for a quick reaction from du Plessis when the Proteas arrived at Adelaide airport on Monday.

Nine news reporter Will Crouch was at the receiving end when South African security man Zunaid Wadee tackled him, rugby style. Crouch had the microphone knocked out of his hand as he tried to reach Du Plessis.

Reacting to the incident, South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee issued a statement, saying, “The ‘reporter’ at the airport disrespected us and continued to harass Faf for comment. The ‘reporter’ was also in the unusual position of being in the middle of the players’ walkway to the bus.”

Moosajee added, “He was advised to move three times, and did not adhere to this request. The ‘reporter’, who also had no official accreditation, then proceeded to lunge towards Faf with an unknown object causing a direct breach of security protocol. The reporter also shoved the team manager in the back.”

It was the second time in two days the South Africans have resorted to violent measures to deal with journalists, reports the Daily Telegraph. On Saturday Wadee put Nine reporter Corey Norris in a headlock at the team’s hotel in Melbourne, the Telegraph website said.

South African players were quick to react on social media and defend their staff’s actions.

“Disappointed. such provocative behaviour from reporters. Let a man walk in peace. Ask with manners n courtesy and u prob will get a response,” Hashim Amla tweeted.

“Sad that this is what our tour has come to,” Jean-Paul Duminy wrote.

Tabraiz Shamsi described the reporters behaviour as “disgraceful”.

Faf du Plessis faces suspension

Du Plessis, standing in for AB de Villiers, could be suspended for a Test match after being charged by the ICC over an alleged ball-tampering offence. The team has stood firmly behind their captain.

Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty and is seeking legal advice to further contest the charge. A hearing before match referee Andy Pycroft will be held, but a date for the hearing has not yet been set by the ICC.

The ICC confirmed in a statement on Friday that du Plessis had been charged for breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball”. The incident happened during the Hobart Test that South Africa won by an innings to clinch the series.

The ICC statement said: “The alleged incident happened on Tuesday morning when TV footage appeared to show du Plessis applying saliva and residue from a mint or sweet, an artificial substance, to the ball in an attempt to change its condition.”

First Published: Nov 21, 2016 12:35 IST