Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Ball Tampering

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

W hen he took charge in 2013, Team Australia coach Darren Lehmann had listed his three priorities as “win, win, win”. Five years down the line, he has had to change perspective, admitting that his team’s style of “butting heads” is not the way to go forward. Lehmann’s job has been on the line with a storm over ball tampering by Aussie cricketers. Skipper Steve Smith and deputy David Warner have been served with one-year bans, while Cameron Bancroft, who used sandpaper to scratch the ball, will be out of the game for nine months. The Australians have a fairly good Test record under Lehmann, with 30 wins, 19 losses and 8 draws. But they have been making heavy weather of their ongoing South African tour, suffering reverses at Port Elizabeth and Cape Town after winning the series opener at Durban. Matters came to a head on Day 3 of the third Test at Newlands, with Bancroft caught on camera illegally roughening the ball, clearly to make it reverse swing. Vice captain David Warner was at hand to show him how to cheat, while captain Steve Smith admitted he knew of their plan beforehand “to gain advantage”. It is another matter the Aussies were crushed by 322 runs, but the scandal left Cricket Australia administrators red faced. After apologising to fans, they set up an independent probe into the team’s conduct. Exonerated of wrongdoing, Lehmann has said he will quit after the fourth and fil Test at Johannesburg, accepting that the Aussies will need to “change some philosophies” about the way they play. “We do respect the opposition but we push the boundaries. So we’ve got to make sure of respecting the game, its traditions and understanding the way the game holds itself around the world,” he said. However, the long-term controversy over differentiating illegal ball tampering from legal means (like shining the ball on player’s uniform or liberally using saliva) is unlikely to go away soon. Meanwhile, calling the Cape Town incident “an eye-opener”, ICC chief executive David Richardson has revealed there will be a fresh review of ICC code of conduct and pelties regarding ball-tampering, as well as other “ugly situations” involving dissent, sledging, send-offs and walk-offs. He has rightly said that the global outcry over the latest shameful incident is a clear message to cricket — that enough is enough.

Next Story