Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has hit out at the Australia media - and Channel 9 News in particular - for their handling of the Faf du Plessis 'Mintgate' saga.
Matters escalated on Monday when a security official travelling with the South African team shoved an Australian reporter on at least two occasions as he attempted to interview Du Plessis at Adelaide airport.
Du Plessis is due to face an International Cricket Council (ICC) disciplinary hearing on ball tampering charges arising from the second Test against Australia in Hobart last week.
Du Plessis allegedly had a sweet, or mint, in his mouth and rubbed saliva into the ball to get more swing during the Hobart match and is facing a one-match ban.
A hearing will be held by Andy Pycroft of the ICC match referees panel. The results will be announced in due course, the ICC confirmed.
The Proteas are chasing a first-ever series whitewash in Australia when they go into Thursday's pink ball Test in Adelaide.
On Monday CSA released the following statement regarding the airport-shoving incident:
The Australian media and Channel 9 News in particular have been advised on numerous occasions over the past few days that Cricket South Africa and captain, Faf du Plessis, are not in a position to comment on the alleged ball tampering issue.
However, despite our best to intentions to co-operate with the Australian media, Channel 9 News’ behaviour has been disappointing. We have advised of our media protocol which has been blatantly ignored, both at the team’s hotel in Melbourne on Friday and Saturday and again at the airport in Adelaide today.
This is the third incident of a reporter aggressively harassing our
players with blatant disrespect of the above-mentioned media protocol.
The ‘reporter’ at the airport disrespected us and continued to harass Faf for comment. The ‘reporter’ was also in the unusual position of being in the middle of the players’ walkway to the bus. He was advised to move three times, and did not adhere to this request. The ‘reporter’, who also had no official accreditation, then proceeded to lunge towards Faf with an unknown object causing a direct breach of security protocol. The reporter also shoved the team manager in the back.Throughout the tour we have respected all our media obligations and treated media with the utmost respect. At the same time, we would like to see this respect reciprocated and will not accept such behaviour as displayed by the Channel 9 News reporter.
Disappointed.. such provocative behaviour from reporters.Let a man walk in peace.Ask with manners n courtesy and u prob will get a response.— hashim amla (@amlahash) November 21, 2016