In the light of Faf du Plessis’ conviction for ball-tampering, using mint-flavoured spit, we look at five other ball-tampering scandals which rocked the cricketing world.
Michael Atherton (1994)
In a match between SA and England at Lord’s, the ex-England captain was nailed in what has become known as the ‘dirt in the pocket’ affair. Atherton was caught on camera reaching into his pocket and retrieving dirt which he then rubbed on the ball.
Atherton denied the accusations saying that the dirt was used to keep his hands dry. He was fined £2 000 for failing to disclose the dirt to the match referee.
Sachin Tendulkar (2001)
In the second Test of India’s tour to South Africa, Tendulkar was seen using his thumb and forefingers to alter the ball by scuffing the seam. It was claimed that the India legend was simply removing the grass stuck under the seam and the charges for ball tampering where subsequently dropped.
The incident escalated to include allegations of racism, and prevented referee Mike Denness from from entering the venue of the third Test. The ICC revoked the status of the match as a Test.
Stuart Broad and James Anderson (2010)
The two England bowlers were accused of running their studs over the ball in the third Test Match against South Africa in Cape Town. Accusations were made at a press conference by the Proteas, but no official charges were formally placed. Broad pleaded his innocence, blaming laziness due to the heat as a cause for his actions.
Shahid Afridi (2010):
Afridi was banned for two T20 games after being found guilty for biting the ball during Pakistan’s two-wicket loss to Australia in the ODI at the WACA. The Pakistani all-rounder was caught by the cameras doing so on two occasions.
Vernon Philander (2014)
The Proteas speedster breached clause 42.1 of the Laws, ‘scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb’, and was fined 75% of his match fee during the 3rd day of the Galle Test against Sri Lanka.
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