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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Aussies ball tampering ! the other effects ..


To those following Cricket regularly – can you name the Indian Openers during the Indian tour of South Africa ~ more specifically that 1st One dayer at Capetown on Dec 7, 1992 ?  Can you identify this person on cycle ?? **

Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will leave South Africa on Wednesday in the wake of their pre-meditated plan to tamper with the ball on the third day of the Cape Town Test against South Africa. They will be told of their "significant" Cricket Australia code of behaviour sanctions within 24 hours. However the investigation of the CA head of integrity, Iain Roy, found that the coach Darren Lehmann had no prior knowledge of the ball-tampering plan. This is despite the fact he was captured on television footage sending a message to Bancroft via the 12th man Peter Handscomb, leading to Bancroft attempting to hide the adhesive tape he had been using to rough up the ball. James Sutherland, the CA chief executive, said Lehmann would remain under contract and had not resigned his post.

Remember - Petrus Stephanus de Villiers (Fanie de Villiers), a frail looking medium pacer play for South Africa.  In 18 tests he took 85 wickets and in 83 one dayers he took 95 wickets at a good economy rate.

It took just 30 seconds for reputations of players and a national team to take a nose dive, for careers to be put at risk.  In an explosive report from The Sydney Morning Herald, a source has given them an insight into just what went down in the Australian locker room at lunch on the third day of the third test against South Africa.  David Warner is said to be emerging as the 'chief conspirator' in the ball tampering scandal that has rocked world cricket to its core, amid a teammate's claim Steve Smith isn't to blame for the cheating in South Africa. Cameras captured Cameron Bancroft's illegal attempt to scuff the ball after lunch on day three of the third Test in Cape Town, a ploy that Smith later admitted he and 'the leadership group' had given the green light to. Cricket Australia bosses have allegedly been told Warner 'was the chief conspirator and that Smith foolishly agreed,' though sources close to the vice-captain deny he invented the plan, according to a Fairfax report.

The Laws of Cricket allow for manipulation of the ball to some degree, but there is a definite line that must not be crossed. A match ball may be polished, providing an artificial substance is not used. A wet ball may be dried with a towel and on rare occasions, mud is allowed to be removed under supervision. Any other action which changes the condition of the ball is illegal, though that hasn't stopped players from attempting to gain an advantage over the years - both covertly or "accidently on purpose", as Graeme Smith accused Pat Cummins of doing earlier this Test.

Ball tampering is not entirely new in Cricket – on earlier occasions, Pakistan star Shahid Afridi was banned from two Twenty20 internationals after being found guilty of ball-tampering during an ODI in Perth. Standing in as skipper, Afridi was caught on cameras trying to bite and chew the seam.  In another, Sri Lanka notified the umpires that they believed Peter Siddle had been attempting to raise the seam on his way to taking 5-54. He was cleared by the ICC over the incident.  It was the former South African fast bowler Fanie de Villiers who perhaps brought out this cheating ! – he  says he instructed camera operators to look for Australian ball tampering on day three of the third test, having suspected the Australians were using underhanded tactics.   

De Villiers said he knew something was up given how early they got the ball to reverse swing.  De Villiers has been working for a broadcaster in South Africa for the Test series and claimed he knew something untoward could have been going on by how early the tourists were getting the ball to reverse swing. Ultimately his suspicions were proved correct when, after searching for an hour-and-a-half, the cameras spotted Cameron Bancroft rubbing sticky yellow tape on the ball in an attempt to alter its condition. 'I said earlier on, that if they could get reverse swing in the 26th, 27th, 28th over then they are doing something different from what everyone else does,' de Villiers told RSN Radio on Monday. 'We actually said to our cameramen, ''go out (and) have a look, boys. They're using something''. 'They searched for an hour-and-a-half until they saw something and then they started following Bancroft and they actually caught him out at the end. 'It's impossible for the ball to get altered like that on cricket wickets where we knew there was grass on, not a Pakistani wicket where there's cracks every centimetre. 'We're talking about a grass-covered wicket where you have to do something else to alter the shape, to alter the roughness of the ball on the one side. You have to get the one side wetter, heavier than the other side.'

A damning graphic showed how the ball reversed in Cape Town while Bancroft tampered with the ball but stopped when his actions were exposed. Cameras clearly picked a  small, yellow object in Cameron Bancroft's hands after he had worked on the ball, the opener later revealing it to be a piece of tape covered in dirt. He was later captured taking it from his pocket and placing it down his trousers, a few moments after being spoken to by the substitute Peter Handscomb, who had come onto the field after speaking to coach Darren Lehmann via walkie-talkie. Although the two on-field umpires, Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong of England, questioned Bancroft at the time, he produced what appeared to be a black sunglasses bag from his right pocket in way of explanation, in a bid to deceive the officials.

'Once I was sighted on the big screens I panicked quite a lot and that resulted in me shoving it down my trousers,' said Bancroft. No action was taken at the time — the umpires could have changed the ball or docked Australia runs — but match officials, including referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, were able to review TV footage of the incident. But after the day's play, captain Steve Smith and Bancroft admitted the ball-tampering in a press conference. Smith continued: 'It was a poor choice and we deeply regret our actions. The coaches weren't involved. It was purely the leadership group who came up with this. 'We saw this game as such an important game. We've seen the ball reversing through this series and this ball didn't seem like it was going to go. It's such poor actions. Deeply regrettable.'

The controversy sent Australian cricket’s image spiralling as Smith and vice-captain David Warner stood down from their leadership roles for the remainder of the Test match, which Australia lost by 322 runs in a monumental collapse last night. The Australian media has been scathing of Smith's admittance that his side deliberately tried to tamper with the condition of the ball.  Cricket Australia (CA) has begun its investigation in the controversy and will announce on Wednesday its findings, leaving plenty of speculation as to the quantum of punishment for Smith and others .. now the trio - Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are leaving SA, though Darren Lehmann, continues !

There are some who are relieved because of this controversy ~ ~ “I’m the last one who comes up on Google as the man who took the lead role in Australian cricket’s darkest day — it’s a real relief I can finally drop that title,” the 65-year-old told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. Trevor Chappell said Smith and Cameron Bancroft will long be haunted by what they did. “What I did has lived with me ever since and it will be the same for Smith and Bancroft,” he said. “They will struggle for the rest of their lives and be known as the ones who brought Australian cricket into disrepute. Trevor Chappell said the under-arm ball  controversy cost him his marriage and the chance to have children. "I struggled a lot with it mentally. I was vilified for years and people will still ask about it," he told the newspaper. "My marriage broke down and I never remarried or had kids. These days, all I do is coach cricket to kids and play golf."

**  when one think of Indian openers in One dayers of recent decades – the immediate thinking is of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan .. .. .. .. – at Capetown on Dec 7 1992, it was Woorkeri Venkat Raman and Ajay Jadeja  - South Africa won by 6 wickets (with 3 balls remaining) – Fanie de Villiers debuted in that match pictured at the start cycling in Pak (pic credit espncricinfo.com)

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Mar 2018

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