Johannesburg [South Africa], Dec.15 : South Africa national selection convenor Linda Zondi has revealed that his side have an emergency stop-gap plan if skipper Faf Du Plessis will be handed a one-match ban in connection with `mintgate` row.
Last month, the 32-year-old was found guilty of breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct after television footage appeared to show him chewing a white lolly in his mouth, licking his finger on the mint before repeatedly shining and rubbing the ball during the fourth day's play of the second Test against Australia in Hobart.
He was later fined his full match fee by the ICC, but was cleared to play the third day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval.
Earlier, Du Plessis had firmly said he has no intention to back out of his appeal against the guilty verdict of ball-tampering case even though he risks missing the first Test match against Sri Lanka if found guilty by the judicial commissioner.
"We do have a plan should Faf not be available. It will purely be a once-off situation, with a stand-in just for the one Test," Sport24 quoted Zondi as saying.
The hearing, which is slated to be heard in Dubai on December 19, will be chaired by Michael Beloff QC in Dubai, with legal counsel of both parties attending the hearing in person and Du Plessis joining in via telephone.
Zondi weighed on the importance of finding a suitable and long-term `vice-captain` for the Test squad in the absence of Du Plessis.
"At the moment there needs to be greater discussion around the appointment of a vice-captain as that needs to be a long term position.
The board has decided to look into it in January," Zondi said. The vice-captaincy duty is likely to fall to either former South Africa skipper Hashim Amla or senior all-rounder JP Duminy.
South Africa are scheduled to play a three-match series against Sri Lanka beginning in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day.