There seems to be no end to controversies during the ongoing Test series between South Africa and Australia. To make the matters worse, Australia were embroiled in a ball-tampering controversy on the third day of the third Test between the two teams on Saturday with opening batsman Cameron Bancroft and skipper Steve Smith admitting to using a “yellow tape” to alter the condition of the ball in the middle of the day’s play.
“We spoke about it at Lunch and I’m not proud of it. It’s not within the spirit of the game, my integrity or the team’s integrity, the leadership group’s integrity has all come to question and rightly so. It’s not on and it certainly won’t happen again I can promise you that,” the captain said at the press conference after the match.
Here is a list of some of the other ball-tampering incidents that have caused major controversies over the year:
Shahid Afridi, Pakistan vs Australia, 2010
In 2010, the then Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was seen chewing on a side of the ball during an ODI against Australia in Perth. He was handed a two-match ban after the incident and later apologised for his actions. “I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match, one match. There is no team in the world that doesn’t tamper with the ball. My methods were wrong. I am embarrassed, I shouldn’t have done it. I just wanted to win us a game but this was the wrong way to do it.” Australia went on to win the match by two wickets.
Faf du Plessis, South Africa v Australia, 2016
Faf du Plessis was charged guilty of ball tampering in November, 2016 in a Test match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval and was charged his entire match fee by the ICC in breach of Law 42.3. He was seen using mint in his mouth to change the condition of the ball.
Sachin Tendulkar, India v South Africa, 2001
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar was handed a one-match ban by match referee Mike Denness after he was found guilty of ball tampering during a Test match against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in November, 2001. A video footage showed Tendulkar scuffing the seam of the ball, but the cricketer maintained that was only removing a piece of grass on the ball. Dennesss faced massive flak with fans raising allegations of racism. ICC, later cleared Tendulkar of any wrongdoing.
Waqar Younis, Pakistan vs South Africa, 2000
Waqar Younis holds the dubious distinction of being the first player to be suspended for tampering with the ball after he was seen gouging the side of the ball using thumbnails and scratching the seam during an ODI against South Africa in 2000. It was match referee John Reid who banned him from the next game against Sri Lanka, who were also part of the tri-series.
Michael Atherton, England vs South Africa, 1994
Former England captan Mike Atherton faced accusations of ball tampering for taking a substance from his pocket and rubbing it on the ball. The batsman denied the allegations and maintained that he was using the dirt from his pockets to dry his hands. He was not charged with ball tampering, but was fined £2,000.