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The Biggest Ball Tampering Scandals Over the Years

Cricketnext takes a look at previous occasions when players were caught out altering the condition of the ball -

Cricketnext Staff |June 19, 2018, 11:16 PM IST
The Biggest Ball Tampering Scandals Over the Years

New Delhi: Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been suspended from the third and final Test against the West Indies after he was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the second day’s play of the second Test. During the Test when the controversy had erupted, angry Sri Lankan players refused to take the field that had resulted in a delayed start.

Cricketnext takes a look at previous occasions when players were penalised for altering the condition of the ball -

John Lever, 1977


Former England pacer John Lever. (Image credit: Getty Images)

In the first well-known ball-tampering case, England bowler John Lever was accused of deliberately rubbing Vaseline petroleum jelly on the ball during the third Test against India in Chennai. On the third day of the Test, the pacer used Vaseline to stop sweat running into his eyes and subsequently rubbed sweat from his brow onto the ball. India's captain, Bishan Bedi, lodged a complaint and laboratory analysis found Vaseline on the ball.

Michael Atherton, 1994


Former England captain Michael Atherton. (Image credit: Getty Images)

TV footage caught the England captain rubbing dirt from his pocket on the ball during a Test against South Africa at Lord's in 1994. Atherton, who claimed there was ambiguity in the rules about whether this was an offence or not, was fined £2,000 in a case which prompted a furore in the British media and calls for him to quit.

Sachin Tendulkar, 2001

sachin ball_getty

Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Match referee Mike Denness gave Sachin Tendulkar a suspended one-match ban after he was seen working the seam of the ball with his thumb and forefinger in Port Elizabeth. It was one of six punishments handed out to India's team in a row which triggered a furious backlash by the cricket authorities, who threatened to call off the tour. The ICC eventually overturned Tendulkar's ban.

Rahul Dravid, 2004

dravid tampering copy

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid. (Image credit: Channel 9/ YouTube Screenshot)

Rahul Dravid was fined 50 percent of his match fee for rubbing a throat lozenge on the ball during their ODI win over Zimbabwe in Brisbane. Dravid was caught by the TV cameras rubbing a cough lozenge on the shiny side of the white ball and was subsequently charged by the ICC. However, both Team India coach John Wright and skipper Sourav Ganguly later insisted that the incident was accidental.

Pakistan, 2006


Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-haq

Arguably one of the darkest days in the history of the sport and it ended with Pakistan forfeiting their Test against England at The Oval 12 years ago. Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove gave England five penalty runs after ruling that Pakistan had tampered with the ball, leaving the tourists incensed. Inzamam ul-Haq's side refused to take the field after the tea break in protest, and the umpires awarded the match to England, the first forfeiture in Test history. Pakistan were later cleared of ball-tampering by the ICC, with the governing body also controversially changing the result of the match to a draw.

Faf du Plessis, 2013 & 2016

faf du plessis-channel 9

South Africa skipper Faf Du Plessis (Image credit: Channel 9)

Du Plessis pleaded guilty and was fined 50 percent of his match fee for scuffing the ball on the zip of his trousers during a Test against Pakistan. South Africa said they didn't challenge the charge because they feared a stronger punishment, and that contact with the zip was inadvertent as du Plessis tried to dry the ball. The South African skipper was then charged for ball-tampering for the second time by ICC in 2016 after footage emerged of an incident during the second Test against Australia. The video appeared to show Du Plessis with a mint in his mouth and rubbing saliva into the ball, with the International Cricket Council alleging he broke their code of conduct.

Steve Smith, David Warner & Cameron Bancroft, 2018

Cameron Bancroft

Australia captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and top-order batsman Cameron Bancroft admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa, earlier this year. Television footage showed that Bancroft took a sandpaper out of his pocket while fielding at Newlands. He was spoken to by umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth during the 43rd over of South Africa's second innings after appearing to have the object in his hand after fielding the ball at cover. Smith and Warner were subsequently charged for ball-tampering and were banned for 12 months respectively, while as for Bancroft, he was suspended for 9 months.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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