3 Indian cricketers who were accused of ball tampering

Even Sachin Tendulkar was once accused of ball tampering
Even Sachin Tendulkar was once accused of ball tampering

India comfortably trounced the touring Australians in the first Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. The returning Ravindra Jadeja was the star of the show for India, with him performing as he if he was never away from the game through injury.

The all-rounder picked up seven wickets across the two innings and scored a crucial 185-ball 70, building vital partnerships that eventually took the game away from Australia. While it was mostly sunny for Jadeja, the Australian media's accusations of him tampering with the ball did sully the mood around the Indian camp a bit.

Jadeja applied ointment on his sore index finger, but many called him out for trying to change the condition of the ball. However, the match referee ruled out the notion that he was tampering with the ball, but did fine him 25% of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for not informing the umpires prior to applying the cream.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time an Indian cricketer has been accused of ball tampering. Let's take a look at three other notable incidents.

#3 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli was accused of ball tampering after a report by a British tabloid during the first Test of England's tour of India in 2016 at Rajkot. The India skipper allegedly used residue from a sweet he had in his mouth to shine the ball.

The report stated that they had TV footage that showed Kohli putting his hand in his mouth before shining the ball. However, with the touring England side not lodging a complaint and not commenting on the issue, the matter died down.

According to ICC rules, a complaint on ball tampering has to be registered within five days of the end of a Test match, and with the England side not doing that, Kohli faced no sanctions for this alleged event.

#2 Rahul Dravid

One of the most respected and renowned figures in world cricket, Rahul's ball-tampering incident in 2004 is a blip in what was a controversy-free career. In an ODI game against Zimbabwe in January 2004 at the Gabba in Brisbane, Rahul Dravid was found to have tampered with the ball after being seen shining it with a cough lozenge from his mouth.

John Wright and Sourav Ganguly defended Dravid, saying it was an accident and that the player was only trying to shine the ball with saliva and that pieces of the lozenge stuck to the ball. Nevertheless, match referee Clive Lloyd found Dravid guilty of the offense and fined him 50% of his match fee.

#1 Sachin Tendulkar

One of the greats of the game, Sachin Tendulkar was also accused of ball tampering in a controversial contest against South Africa in 2001. The second of a three-match Test Series at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, it was a case of the Indian team versus Match referee Mike Denness, whose adjudications were the subject of immense scrutiny.

He handed bans to several Indian players, including Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag, but the most notable was his ban on Sachin Tendulkar for allegedly tampering with the ball.

Sachin spoke about the incident in detail in his autobiography, Playing it My Way, stating that all he did was clean the seam of the ball which had grass on it, and while he didn't inform the umpires about it, he was shocked at the questioning of his integrity.

The controversy created quite the uproar, with both the BCCI and the South African cricket board deciding to go ahead with the 3rd Test without Denness as the match referee, which led the ICC declaring it an 'Unofficial' game.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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