5 shocking ball tampering controversies in cricket

The cricket world is currently in shock as Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith have admitted to ball tampering during the ongoing third cricket Test between Australia and South Africa at Newlands. Bancroft admitted to ball tampering after videos showed him rubbing a yellow object on the ball, and concealing in on being caught on the big screen, during day three of the third test against South Africa, at Newlands Stadium. Skipper Steve Smith admitted later that the team had indeed tried to cheat to gain advantage. This is not the first time that cricket world has been rocked with ball tampering allegations. Here are five other instances:

Michael Atherton’s ‘dirt in the pocket’ incident in 1994 is quite infamous. Athers, the then England captain Michael Atherton was accused of ball tampering during, also against South Africa at Lord’s in 1994. TV cameras caught Atherton rubbing something on the ball after taking it out from his pocket. Atherton denied ball tampering claiming the dirt was to dry his hands.

Sachin Tendulkar too found himself at the centre of a ball-tampering scam in 2001. During the second Test match of India’s 2001 tour of South Africa at Port Elizabeth, match referee Mike Denness suspended Sachin Tendulkar for one match over alleged ball tampering. Cameras showed images of Tendulkar allegedly scuffing the seam of the cricket ball. It was later concluded that he was removing piece of grass stuck in the seam. The allegations escalated into a huge controversy, as Denness banned other Indian players as well for excessive appealing. ICC eventually cleared Tendulkar of any wrongdoing.

In 2006, at The Oval, Pakistan forfeited a Test against England after being penalised for alleged ball tampering. Pakistan refused to take the field after tea on the day of the alleged incident as a manner of protest. Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove had ruled that Pakistan had tampered with the ball, leading to another huge controversy.

Shahid Afridi was also banned for alleged ball tampering in a match against Australia in January 2010. He was caught on camera biting the ball to apparently try and readjust the seam. Afridi pleaded guilty to ball tampering.

During the third day of the 2nd Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai, Faf du Plessis was seen scuffing the ball against the zip on his trousers. South Africa were penalised 5 runs for the act. Match referee imposed a 50% match fee fine on du Plessis as he pleaded guilty.


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