In a recent Test match of Australia vs South Africa, on third day, cricket fans observed something outrageous and bad.It was when they saw ‘Cameron Bancroft’ doing ‘Ball Tampering’ openly in front of everyone and camera in the stadium. And Audience were quick enough to observe it. And they have not just observed, and also have put it out everywhere on social media. Resulting in a huge outrage not just against ‘Bancroft’ but against Steve Smith and the entire Australian team.
But what made cricket fans even sadder is the fact that, Senior most Australian players admitting to cheating, using ‘Sand Paper’ and plotting to tamper the ball. While most people in were shock and could not even digest what happened, others showed their discomfort and sadness on Twitter.
As part of the punishment, Captain Steve Smith has been suspended for 1 match. And fined 100 percent of his match fee. ICC chief David Richardson said, ‘As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended’.
And Cameron Bancroft has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
What is Ball Tampering:
Ball Tampering is an action in which a player illegally alters (changes) the condition of the ball. The primary motivation of ball tampering is to interfere (disturb) the aerodynamics of the ball.
What is the law:
Acoording Law 41, subsection 3 of laws of cricket, “The only action which may be applied to a cricket ball is polishing without the use of an artificial substance, drying with a towel or removing mud under supervision by the umpires”. Anything else other than this is illegal.
Why players do Ball Tampering:
Purpose: the purpose of altering the state of the ball is to achieve more favorable bowling conditions. The motivation is to aid swing through the air. Normal swing sees the ball move towards the heavier side as it travels through the air, so fielders will try and make one side ‘heavier’ by applying moisture to it.
How Ball Tampering happens:
Two sides of Ball Tampering.
1. Examples of ball tampering would include a fielder applying a substance, such as ‘lip balm’ or ‘sweetened saliva’, to shine one side of the ball or pick the seam of the ball to encourage more ‘swing.’
2. Conversely, roughening one side of the ball by use of an abrasive or cutting surface (such as boot spikes or bottle caps) is also ball tampering.
Is this the first time:
NO! There are many examples of players being punished for ball-tampering, from a range of countries. England captain Michael Atherton was fined £2,000 for applying dirt to the ball in a Test against South Africa in 1994 – he denied ball-tampering, saying that he carried dirt in his pocket to dry his fingers. Pakistan once refused to re-enter the field following a tea break after being accused of tampering in a Test against England in 2006, a charge which was later dismissed by the ICC. South African captain Faf du Plessis has twice been found guilty of tampering, while fast bowler Vernon Philander was also deemed to have changed the condition of the ball by using his finger and thumb to scratch it.
What are the punishments:
There are multiple levels of punishments. Where Level One is, umpires can impose a token five-run penalty against the bowling side and the replacement of the ball. The offence in AusvsSA is deemed to be Level Two. Possible sanctions include a deduction of a player’s match fee anywhere between 50 and 100 per cent, and three or four demerit points added to his record. Four demerit points triggers a one-Test ban.
Cricket is a Gentlemen’s Game. Let’s hope it remains that way, and things like these do not happen ever again.
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