Du Plessis says he feels incredibly sorry for Smith, who has been slapped with a 12-month ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
"You don't want to see the guy going through that stuff ... he's one of the good guys and been caught in a bad place," du Plessis told reporters in Johannesburg.
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis says he feels sorry for Steve Smith and what he has gone through the past few days. pic.twitter.com/EOUBY82914— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 29, 2018
Steve Smith was banned for a year from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. It was revealed that Steve Smith knew about the plan to alter the condition of the ball during the lunch break.
"I did send him a text," Du Plessis confirmed.
"From a really deep place in my heart I feel for the guy. You don’t want to see guys going through that and it’s going to be incredibly hard for him over the next days. I just sent him a message of support saying that he’ll get through this, he must just be strong. He appreciated the message. There is a lot of respect between the two of us. He’s a good leader for Australia," Du Plessis said.
Du Plessis further said, "I think he is one of the good guys and he’s just been caught in a bad place. He’s obviously taken responsibility for that. We’re not sitting in a glass house where we think we are better than them in that aspect. Obviously the penalty is quite hard on him, but I do have quite a bit of compassion for what he’s going through. It’s not nice. You don’t want to see any cricketer or person go through that amount of pain. I know as a leader he would have tried to have his identity put into the Australian team and perhaps now that that chance has been taken away from him, that’s not nice. To be a captain of your country is a huge honour and you can see the disappointment. I feel really sorry for him."
Du Plessis acknowledged that Smith's ban may have been a bit harsh, but he hoped that it would set a new standard in world cricket where players would think twice before engaging in any illegal activity.
Steve Smith recently held a press conference during which he tearfully said sorry to the cricket world and to the Australian public. He also took responsibility of the same.
(With inputs from sport24.co.za)