• ‘Every country is doing it or working out how to do it’

    Former board director Mark Taylor has conceded that Cricket Australia do not know how long the team were illegally tampering with match balls prior to March 2018’s scandal at Newlands.

    Captain Steven Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were suspended from international cricket after being found guilty of ball-tampering during the third Test in Cape Town.

    Bancroft’s ban ended late last year, while Warner and Smith will be allowed to play international cricket next month. Warner and Smith are currently playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals respectively in the Indian Premier League. Bancroft was recently announced Durham captain in English county competition.

    ‘There was no probe into finding out how long it had been going on for. Was this the first time? There’s no doubt this “ball management” has been going on for a long time, and I dare say every country is either doing it or working out how to do it, but there’s a line somewhere between ball management and ball tampering,’ Taylor told Wide World of Sports.

    ‘The grey area in all of this is how much of this ball management in the past was tampering and went unnoticed. One of the reasons I think Australia fell into trouble in South Africa last year is because they got so fixated on reverse swing.

    ‘They had three of the finest fast bowlers in world cricket, and 10 overs into a Test in South Africa they’re working on how to manage the ball to get it to reverse. They got too carried away with reverse swing and forgot about orthodox, normal swing bowling that’s been around for 140 years.’

    Smith and Warner are in contention for Australia’s squad for the 2019 World Cup in the United Kingdom, while Bancroft is vying for Ashes series selection.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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