South African skipper AB de Villiers vented out at his disappointment on being caught in another ball-tampering row at the press conference after the end of their match against England yesterday. South Africa lost the match and the series to England by a narrow margin of two runs.
The Proteas found themselves amidst another ball-tampering row on Saturday while bowling against England. South African skipper AB de Villiers in the 33rd over was seen in what was perceived as an insistent request to the umpires to change the ball. However, de Villiers later revealed in the post-match conference that he was actually insisting the umpiring duo of Chris Gaffney and Rob Bailey that the condition of the ball was not a result of illegal tampering by his team.
The South African team was at the centre of one such controversy when Test skipper Faf du Plessis was fined his match fee by ICC in November when he was accused of illegally shining the ball using saliva which was produced while sucking on a mint during Proteas' series against Australia.
De Villiers thought his team might be at a risk of being accused once again but clarified that in the end, the umpires did not change the ball which was an indication of his team's innocence.
"The umpires felt the condition of the ball changed, in a way making me feel we were responsible as a team I was quite upset about that ... (but) it's done and dusted now. Nothing happened, there were no fines given or anything like that.", de Villiers stated.
"I expressed I was quite upset about it. I told the umpires we had nothing to do with the condition of the ball ... no further steps were taken ... and we move on. Generally, there is a warning or a fine, but none of that happened. That tells me they realised we were innocent in this case. "I honestly think it was just a bad ball today ... which happens sometimes, the leather comes off sometimes. Unfortunately, the umpires didn't agree with that." , he stated.
The skipper's mood did not lighten towards the end either as South Africa failed to score 10 runs off the last 10 balls and lost the match and the series. England set up a huge target of 331 to chase for the away side riding on Ben Stokes' brilliant
"I got a bit excited there at the end – I thought we had it in the bag," de Villiers said.
"I thought Chris and David played a great hand in that partnership to get us so close ... (but) you've got to give credit to the last two bowlers for England. "They showed some great skill and good plans.", he added.