Ball Tampering in Cricket

  • If the match is close, ball tampering can make a difference
  • Saliva, sticky sweets and sand paper
  • It'll get you banned and fined
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So what is ball tampering in cricket? Most professional sports are governed by a set of rules. And cricket is no different and is overseen by the International Cricket Council. The sport of cricket, for whatever reason, still remains tied to gentlemanly ideals and the myth of “fair play”. There is a rule that states, “it is an offense for any player to take any action which changes the condition of the ball.”

Introduction: Ball Tampering in Cricket

Let’s not forget that cricket runs on gambling money. And gamblers are very unhappy with any form of cheating as it changes their odds. There are those who maintain that cricket is and always has been, tainted with cheating. In the same way others find it frustratingly boring. For great odds please check out these online sports books in the UK. But what’s the big deal about the condition of the ball?

It’s All About The swing

Well, in cricket, the ability to “swing” the ball is of upmost importance. Altering just one side, so that side is rougher, can cause the ball to curve move. This is thanks to friction when it’s moving through the air. The rougher side moves more slowly thus aiding the swing of the ball. Players regularly try and rough up one side of the ball by, for example applying saliva or bouncing the ball on a rough part of the pitch. This is a form of bending the rules as opposed to breaking them.

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Traditional English Village Dance

What exactly is Ball Tampering?

On the other hand, using the fingernails or rubbing the ball against a zipper is expressly against the rules. This could work well for the women coming into cricket. Doing so, can lead to both fines and suspension. Within the confines of international cricket it’s pretty rare because the TV cameras can zoom in. But at county level, in particular with regards to English matches, without cameras present, ball tampering is rife. Have a look at these online sports books in the UK for cricket betting.

Law 41

In the rules, Law 41 says that you may polish the ball without the use of any artificial substances or dry it with a towel. Everything else is a no-no. In March 2018, during the third Test match against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town, television cameras caught the Australian bowler Cameron Bancroft trying to rough up one side of the ball with sandpaper to make it swing. This took place with the involvement of the Captain Steve Smith and the vice-captain David Warner.

Ball Tampering in Cricket: Let’s Try

But the players are not dumb. For example, in theory it’s a no-no for players to throw the ball back for a bounce before the wicket keeper. This is to stop it landing on the rough part of the wicket. Likewise, wicket keepers can miss the catch and so the ball lands on the same area. If you’re going to bet on a match, (we recommend Bet365 Sportsbook), these small and seemingly innocuous activities may make the difference between winning and losing. And remember that cricket is big money.

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Hard to see it from here

Famous Examples of Ball tampering in Cricket

Chris Pringle, 1990

Playing in Pakistan, the New Zealand bowler Chris Pringle used a bottle cap to rough up one side of a ball.

Michael Atherton, 1994

Known as the  “dirt in pocket” affair.  England captain Michael Atherton was caught on camera rubbing a substance onto the ball. This was during the Test match with South Africa at Lord’s in 1994.

Waqar Younis, 2000

The Pakistani player Waqar Younis became the first player to receive a suspension for ball tampering. This was after a match in July 2000. He was also fined 50% of his match fee.

Rahul Dravid, 2004

Indian Rahul Dravid rubbed a cough lozenge on the shiny side of the ball during an Australian Tri-Series match against Zimbabwe. Though India won the match, footage later emerged of Dravid tampering with the ball. He saw a fine of 50% of his match fee.

England cricket team, 2005

Three years after the conclusion of the 2005 Ashes series, in which England beat Australia, 2–1, Marcus Trescothick admitted in his autobiography, that he used mints to shine the ball.

Pakistan cricket team, 2006

In 2006, Pakistan refused to take to the field for the evening session after a penalty for ball tampering in the afternoon. While the Pakistanis were refusing to play, the umpires awarded the game to England in accordance with the Laws of Cricket.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson, 2010

England bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson were accused of ball tampering by stopping the ball with the spikes of their boots in the third Test Match against South Africa in January 2010. No charges were formally bought by South Africa even though they made the accusations at a press conference.

Shahid Afridi, 2010

In January 2010, Shahid Afridi, standing in as the Pakistani captain, received a two T20 international match ban. He was caught on camera biting the cricket ball in an attempt to re-adjust the seam of the ball. f

Faf du Plessis, 2013

Captured footage showed the South Africa fielder Faf du Plessis scuffing the ball against the zip of his trousers, while fielding during the third day of the second Test in Dubai. The match referee imposed a 50% match fee fine on du Plessis after the fielder pleaded guilty.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2014

The medium-pace bowler Vernon Philander was found guilty of ball tampering during the third day of the Galle Test against Sri Lanka in 2014. He saw a fine of 75% of his match fee.

South Africa vs Australia, 2016

On 18 November 2016, after their victory in the second Test against Australia in Hobart, Faf du Plessis was seen on TV footage to be applying saliva onto the ball from a mint or a lolly. He was later found guilty of ball tampering and fined his match fee from the second Test.

Australia vs South Africa, 2018

During the Third Test on March 24, videos emerged showing Cameron Bancroft rubbing the ball with a yellow object. it transpired that this was sandpaper. Captain Steve Smith admitted that the tampering was planned. The ICC banned Smith for one Test match and he was fined 100% of his match fee. Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee. After a massive public outcry, Smith, Warner and Bancroft were charged with bringing the game into disrepute and sent home. Later they were banned from all cricket for between 9 – 12 months.

Sri Lanka vs West Indies, 2018

On June 2018, the umpires awarded the West Indies five penalty runs as they deemed the Sri Lankan team was guilty of ball tampering on the previous day.

Afghanistan v West Indies, 2019

In November 2019, , Nicholas Pooran was found guilty of ball tampering during the third ODI against Afghanistan. He admitted the charge, and was banned for four T20I matches.

Many Methods

Sucking mints is another common occurrence. By altering the state of your saliva, which is then put on the ball. This is OK. What is not is putting your finger directly on the mint in your mouth and then applying it to the ball. Of course, it’s such a subtle difference that it’s almost impossible for the umpire to catch. Other tactics for ball tampering in cricket include rubbing the ball on the zip of the trousers. Or applying superglue to the badge on the trousers which then hardens into a rough surface. If you want a wager on cricket, then try Bet365 Sportsbook.  Here are some cricket gambling tips. At the end of the day, the umpire can, without rhyme or reason simply change the ball for a new one. So all that hard work of roughing up one side of the ball is for nothing.

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