He told a media conference in Johannesburg that he was “very sorry” for Smith and had texted him a message of support.
Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for 12 months and Cameroon Bancroft for nine months for attempted ball tampering during the third Test in Cape Town last Saturday. The Australian cheating plot was foiled when TV cameras spotted Bancroft seeking to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper.
Du Plessis said that although he regarded the bans imposed on Smith, Warner and Bancroft as harsh, he understood the context of the high values Australians expected from their cricket team.
Du Plessis welcomed the announcement by International Cricket Council chief executive Dave Richardson that there would be a review of the ICC code of conduct and penalties.
The row had its repercussion in IPL 2018 as well as the Aussie duo will not be allowed to play in the T20 franchise tournament because of their roles in ball tampering. But the brand value of Indian Premier League will not get affected by the recent ball-tampering scandal that rocked the cricketing world, feels Royal Challengers Bangalore wicketkeeper, Parthiv Patel.
“It’s unfortunate. But IPL has been a very big brand. It’s such a big tournament with a lot of young players and seniors have been around for years. A couple of incidents that have happened outside the IPL should not affect,” Patel told reporters on the sidelines of a Royal Challengers Bangalore event here.
The ball tampering incident should not define Steve Smith and his two fallen teammates, according to Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, who said images of the former Australia skipper being escorted at Johannesburg airport and his tearful media conference in Sydney “resonated” with him.
Smith today fought back tears as he claimed full responsibility for the ball-tampering scandal that destroyed his reputation, while David Warner and Cameron Bancroft also offered their apologies for the scandal that plunged Australian cricket into turmoil.
The developments in South Africa and Australia have not escaped Rohit’s attention.
“The video of Steve Smith being escorted at the airport and his most recent press conference resonated with me. The spirit of the game is of utmost importance there’s no denying that” Rohit wrote on his twitter handle.
The swashbuckling batsman added, “They made a mistake and they accepted it. It would be unfair of me to sit here and question the board’s decision but they are great players and I don’t think this should define them.”
Spin great Shane Warne pointed to a picture of Smith being escorted by airport security in Johannesburg.
“This is disgraceful ! @stevesmith49 is not a criminal !!!!!” Warne had tweeted.
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 28, 2018
With father Peter by his side, a visibly broken Smith faced an eager media after touching down in Sydney and broke down more than once while seeking forgiveness for plotting the now infamous ball-tampering episode in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Apologies also came in from Warner, declared the chief plotter, and Bancroft, the man who was entrusted the job of tampering the ball with a sand paper.