Vernon Philander has been fined 75% of his match fee after video footage showed him altering the condition of the ball.
The seamer was found guilty in the second case of ball-tampering involving the South African side in the past nine months, after Faf du Plessis was fined for rubbing the ball on the zip of his trousers during the series in the UAE against Pakistan last year.
Philander’s charge came following the conclusion of play on day three, after umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough, third umpire Nigel Llong, fourth umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge and match referee Jeff Crowe looked at video footage of the day.
He was seen to ‘scratch’ the ball with his ‘forefingers and thumb’ and was charged for breaching law 42.3 of the ICC’s Laws of Cricket. Philander did not contest the charge, and will lose 75% of his fee for the first Test.
This will raise questions over the South African bowlers’ ability to reverse swing the ball, especially after accusations from David Warner earlier in the year, and Du Plessis’ 2013 charge.
Australian seam bowler Ryan Harris, who helped his side to a Test series victory in South Africa in March, has slammed Philander for his actions, likening tampering to match-fixing.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Harris said ‘It’s the same as match-fixing for me, it’s the same sort of thing. It’s disappointing. There’s no room for it, no need for it.’
He then went on to say the fact that the South African was caught tampering surprised him. ‘I don’t know the South African guys individually too well but I wouldn’t have thought teams would go out and do that deliberately,’ said Harris. ‘Obviously they [the South Africans] do.’
Harris finished off by saying that no matter what the Proteas might have done with the ball, it didn’t help them in the Test series earlier this year. ‘We beat them, simple as that we won,’ said Harris. ‘Whatever they did, didn’t work, if they did anything.’
‘The ball was reversing in South Africa, our ball was reversing a bit. There’s no real impact.’
‘We came out on top of that and won the series.’