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Warner welcomes tougher ICC approach

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

Reformed enfant terrible David Warner will leave it for the International Cricket Council to judge Faf du Plessis' culpability but he welcomes the governing body's stricter approach to on-field incidents.

The ICC has long been accused of being toothless on a raft of issues affecting the sport.

But they've been notably proactive since footage emerged from the second Test showing South Africa skipper du Plessis applying saliva to the ball with a mint in his mouth.

ICC chief David Richardson declared his compatriot should be charged three days after the incident, which came as the Proteas cruised to series victory in Hobart.

Match referee Andy Pycroft then insisted the hearing proceed before the start of the day-night Test in Adelaide to "protect the integrity" of the game, despite the Proteas wanting to wait so their legal representative could fly in.

Australia vice-captain Warner, who also gave the Proteas a clip for their indignant reaction to the charge, was forthright when asked about the ICC's no-nonsense response to the saga.

"The rules are in place for a reason and if you're not going to use them why bother having them?" Warner pondered on Tuesday.

""They've got the rules and they're going to stand by their decisions. I think that's a good thing.

"We've all been on the back end of them from time to time and now that they're cracking down on it, especially with the points system.

"We as players know the guidelines now so if you're going to overstep that mark and get fined, be prepared to miss Test matches as well."

Australian officials and players had previously remained silent about du Plessis' charge.

"We've been outplayed, outbowled, outbatted, outfielded in this game. Whether or not he was putting anything on the ball, it's irrelevant," Warner said.

Hashim Amla laughed off the allegations last weekend, while the tourists' fury bubbled over in ugly scenes at Adelaide airport on Monday.

Zunaid Wadee, the Proteas' security official, was attempting to shield du Plessis from questions regarding the mint controversy on Monday when he physically clashed with a reporter.

Amla was among many South Africa players to post messages on Twitter, slamming the journalist's conduct.

"I won't comment on the way they've been behaving," Warner said.

"I just know from an Australian cricket perspective we hold our heads high and I'd be very disappointed if one of our team members did that and how they're reacting."

Warner has toned down his pugnacious approach in recent years but was arguably at his most incendiary during a 2014 Test series in South Africa.

Warner accused superstar AB de Villiers of ball-tampering in that series, while he also quipped Vernon Philander was only potent on pitches that suited him and that the hosts looked "lazy" in the field.

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