Australia national cricket team captain Steve Smith’s acceptance of ball tampering charges during the ongoing South Africa Vs Australia Test series has once again brought the dark art of ball tampering into the limelight.
The issue is getting widespread reactions across the world with everyone blaming Smith and the Australian leadership for this act. It has also brought back memories of past incidences in cricket when a team or a player intentionally changed the condition of the ball by tampering with it.
Here we take a look at five past incidents of ball tampering in cricket.
5. Shahid Afridi biting the ball, 2010 at Perth
In a T20 international game featuring Pakistan and Australia, the then Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was found guilty of ball tampering as videos showed him biting the seam of the ball. As there was conclusive evidence in the form of video replays, Afridi was given a harsh punishment of a two-match ban.
4. The Mike Denness vs Sachin Tendulkar episode, 2001 at Port Elizabeth
During Test series between India and South Africa, match referee Mike Denness awarded a one-match ban to Tendulkar as he found Tendulkar guilty of tampering the ball. Tendulkar was seen scuffing the seam of the ball which was regarded as an attempt to tamper the ball, but according to India, Sachin was removing a blade of grass.
The ban made Mike Denness extremely unpopular among Indian fans and he was even accused of racism. After ICC’s intervention, the ban was canceled as India refused to participate in the third Test.
3. Vernon Philander, 2014 at Galle
South African pace bowler Vernon Philander was fined 75 percent of his match-fees for digging his nails into the ball in an attempt to tamper it.
The incident occurred during the Test series in Sri Lanka and videos revealed that Philander used his thumb and fingers to roughen up the ball.
Philander accepted the charge and was dually fined for the incident.
2. Faf du Plessis, 2013 at UAE
Another South African, Faf du Plessis was fined for the same charges in 2013 against Pakistan.
Faf was charged with rubbing the ball into the zipper of his trouser pants to unlawfully roughen up the ball. According to video footage, while rubbing the ball, Faf took it very close to the zipper and hence he was charged.
Faf pleaded guilty and was banned 50 percent of match fees.
1. Pakistan vs England, 2006 at The Oval
This is arguably the most popular ball tampering issue.
On day four of the Oval Test umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove found evidence of Pakistan tampering with the ball and awarded a penalty of five runs to England as a punishment to Pakistan.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s captain was highly displeased with this decision and considered his team innocent. Pakistan registered their protest on this decision by refusing to take up the field after the tea break.
The umpires waited for Pakistani players in vain and awarded the Test to England.
Pakistan Cricket Board lodged an official complaint and after a series of dramatic events, ball tampering charges were cleared, the Test match was declared a draw and Hair’s umpiring career ended.