South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said he was surprised that no one was charged by the ICC on the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) referral issue that led to a war of words between India and Australia.


“I was (surprised), yes. Purely from the reason of what I went through in Australia for something I feel was a lot smaller, so (am) surprised with it,” he said after the first Test between South Africa and New Zealand.

Du Plessis was fined his match fee during a Test against Australia in November last year for sucking on a mint and rubbing saliva into the ball.

The International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson had described the incident as “an obvious breach” of the ball-tampering law.

However, ICC decided not to take any action against the India and Australia captains — Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.

Kohli and Smith clashed on the controversial DRS call with the Indian skipper alleging that his Australian counterpart repeatedly sought DRS inputs from the dressing room during the second Test at Bengaluru.

A day after Kohli lambasted the Australian team and just about stopped short of calling Smith a ‘cheat’, the Cricket Boards of India and Australia waded into the controversy by coming out with statements backing their respective captains.

But eventually the ICC ruled out action against the two captains as charges were not laid.


Du Plessis, who has always denied the ball tampering charges, said that the ICC’s reaction was completely different to the way he was treated.

“Definitely it was different. I’m surprised by the way it happened. Maybe it’s because I speak on a personal point of view and felt I was treated very harsh. When you see something like that you’d hope it (the treatment) would be exactly the same,” said Du Plessis.

Du Plessis said it felt good that he himself was not involved and could just witness things from the sidelines.

“When you play teams like India and Australia obviously that can happen and it’s easy for something like that to blow up. For me, it’s just been good to be on the other side of it this time and see how things unfold,” he said.