Livid Proteas lash out

A visibly angry Proteas outfit met with the media at the MCG ahead of their pink ball warm up against a Victoria XI scheduled to get underway tomorrow.

Led by Hashim Amla the players hit out at the decision to charge skipper Faf du Plessis with ball tampering after video footage appeared to show him shining the ball using his spit while he had a mint in his mouth.

The normally reserved Amla labelled the charge as a joke and refused to allow the subject to be changed as he attacked the move.

Amla told the press: “The reason everyone is here is to stand together, really, and to show solidarity to something … we thought was actually a joke.

“It’s not April, but the allegation against Faf was … a really ridiculous thing.

“As a team, we’re standing strong, we’ve done nothing wrong.

“It’s basically a joke.”

The match referee and umpires had not noted or reported the incident but the ICC picked up on media coverage of the alleged ball tampering and opted to level charges against the Proteas captain.

Amla has faced racist abuse on this tour of Australia and kept his cool but the former skipper was deeply angered by this incident and lashed out.

He added: “Whether it is or not, we’ve done nothing wrong and I know Faf has done absolutely nothing wrong.

“I chew bubblegum while I’m on the field – you want me to brush my teeth after lunch?

“We’re standing out on the field for two hours … there was no malicious intent whatsoever.

“Is it proven or what? Because that’s something that is really new to us.

“I’ve had sweets in my mouth, bubblegum in my mouth, biltong, nuts – I’m not sure what the big deal is.

“To a lot of people, it’s sounding more like sour sweets.”