South African Captain Faf du Plessis has come out and said that there is a genuine need for International Cricket Council(ICC) to apply harsher punishments to those found guilty of committing the mistake of ball-tampering in our sport. The right-hand batsman wants the game's governing body to have stricter laws to ensure that once proof is found against a player, there can be an apt punishment made.
Ironical as it may seem for someone who has been found guilty of ball-tampering twice (UAE 2013 and Australia 2016) and been on the receiving end of it at least once (by Australia, in 2018) but it is good to see a current player making his opinion clear for the betterment of the sport.
Faf, when asked about whether the ICC should change the regulations around the issue looking at the recent incidents of altering the condition of the ball in Australia and West Indies, openly expressed, "They have to. It's happening too often. They definitely need to do that as quickly as possible, I know they met a while ago but it doesn't look like anything has changed. It's still the same rules and stuff, so they need to change that. The penalties need to be harsher for ball tampering."
What should, then, be a good news for Du Plessis is that the ICC is set to approve stricter penalties for the offense imminently. Under the revised rules, ball tampering will be upgraded from a Level 2 offense to Level 3, meaning the maximum penalty for such a breach would increase from a ban of one Test or two ODIs to a ban of four Tests or eight ODIs.
Du Plessis also wants more clarity as to what constitutes "ball-tampering". He has been at the receiving end of miscommunication in his career. He was caught by television cameras with a mint in his mouth, applying mint-infused saliva to the ball. He was found guilty of ball tampering, fined 100% of his match fee, appealed the charge and lost but escaped a ban. Since then, du Plessis has insisted the ICC must clarify what constitutes an "artificial substance" as it relates to ball tampering.
He further said, "I have probably said it too much but there are too many grey areas when it comes to the ICC and the rules. One, you want clarity and, two, you want consistency and that's definitely something that's not been part of that body of laws for a while now, There's a lot of captains that have been speaking about it for a lot of years so, hopefully, when they do bring in all these new things there will be a lot of clarity and, most importantly, consistency for all teams."
(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)