Ball-Tampering: What is it?

26 March 2018

Written by: Aydin Payne

Why is cricket all over the news today?

One of the biggest cricket crises the Australian public has ever witnessed is engulfing our screens, phones and ears.

The Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith admitted his side devised a plan to illegally change the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on the weekend.

Whilst fielding on day three, opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, was caught on camera applying a yellow sticky tape – which had been used to collect dirt –  to scuff one side of the ball to help create ‘reverse-swing.’

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Rules and Regulations states that “it is an offence for any player to take any action which changes the condition of the ball.”

The act of ball-tampering is not permitted on the cricket field and is widely regarded as against the spirit of the game.

It’s a form of cheating that a player conducts to help gain an advantage on their opposition through changing the condition of the ball.

Despite this, the ICC does allow a fielding player to;

  • Polish the ball on his clothing provided no artificial substance is used and that such polishing doesn’t waste time.
  • Remove mud from the ball under the supervision of the umpire.
  • Dry a wet ball on a piece of cloth that has been approved by the umpire.

Yet despite the uproar around the world, this is not the first time a cricketer or cricket team has been found guilty of committing such practices on the international level.

The reason for the strong backlash on both Smith and Bancroft is because this is the first time that an Australian cricketer has been caught trying to deliberately change the condition of the ball.

The ICC released their decision on both Smith and Bancroft overnight, with Smith being banned for the last test and fined all match payments, and the latter receiving three demerit points and fined 75 per cent of his match payments.

Cricket Australia is yet to punish the players as they continue their investigative probe into the ball-tampering scandal, however Smith and vice-captain David Warner have stepped down from their positions respectively.