Johannesburg [South Africa], March 29 : South African skipper Faf du Plessis on Thursday said he feels sorry for Steve Smith who has been banned for 12 months for orchestrating the ball-tampering incident during the third Test in Cape Town.
Addressing a media conference ahead of the fourth Test in Johannesburg, du Plessis confirmed that he had texted Smith a message of support.
“I did send him a text,” du Plessis said.
“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.”
Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for 12 months by the Cricket Australia for their leadership role in the ball tampering act, while Cameroon Bancroft was banned for nine months.
Talking further about the Australian skipper, du Plessis said that Smith was “one of the good guys” he knew.
“I think he is one of the good guys and he’s just been caught in a bad place,” the 33-year-old said.
He further said that the one-year ban handed to Smith was quite hard according to him.
“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.”
South Africa will play Australia in the last match of the four-match Test series at Wanderers on Friday