4 times players were caught altering the condition of the ball
The latest ball-tampering controversy surrounding Cameron Bancroft has done a great disservice to the game. The fact that Captain Steve Smith and the senior players (referred to as the 'leadership group') were also involved in the process makes matters worse.
For decades, the Aussie style of playing cricket – hard but fair – was touted as the ideal way but the recent debacle has certainly marred that image. The fact that a young cricketer was thrust into such a malicious environment and entrusted with the responsibility to change the state of the ball sets the wrong example for budding cricketers and fans across the globe.
However, no matter how unfortunate it may sound, such cases of ball tampering are not new to international cricket. There have been several similar events in the past which have maligned the image of the Gentleman's Game.
Here are four previous instances of ball tampering which left the cricketing world in a state of shock:
#1 Michael Atherton
In 1994, young England skipper Michael Atherton was spotted rubbing dirt on the ball in a match against South Africa at Lord's. Atherton picked up dirt from the pitch and put it into his pocket, giving the impression that he would use it to keep his hands less sweaty.
The English opener was nevertheless charged with ball tampering. While he managed to hold on to the captaincy and avoid suspension, he was fined $3,700.
This unfortunate incident has been recorded in the history books in black ink and is unearthed every time any ball tampering incident sees the light of day.