5 Captains who have been charged for ball-tampering
In the past few months, there is one controversy that has been creating major headlines in the cricketing world. The ball-tampering saga has had a big impact in the last three to four months.
First, it was the Steve Smith-led Australia who were guilty of tampering the ball in South Africa in March earlier this year. And now, the Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lankan team have been accused of changing the condition of the ball in a Test match against West Indies at St Lucia.
Dinesh Chandimal was quite unhappy with the umpires’ decision to change the ball and felt that his team had not done anything wrong. Hence, the Sri Lankan team did not take the field in protest. The Sri Lankan players kept going on the field and returning to the dressing room and there was chaos in the middle. The game was delayed for almost a couple of hours and after numerous discussions with the officials, the match referee and the Sri Lankan board, the players took the field.
And about a day later, the ICC has charged the Sri Lankan skipper for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct (Level 2.2.9) which relates to ball-tampering or altering the condition of the ball.
However, this is not the first time when a captain has been accused and charged for ball-tampering. Hence, here’s a look at instances where captains were charged for ball-tampering.
#5 Michael Atherton – England vs South Africa, Lord’s (1994)
It had barely been a couple of years since South Africa were back playing Test cricket after being banned for about 22 years. It was their 10th visit to the United Kingdom but they had won just two Test series’ before. However, it was after 29 years that the rivalry between the two sides resumed.
In the first Test at Lord’s, former England captain Michael Atherton created a big controversy after he used dirt from his pocket and put it on the ball. Batting first, on the back of skipper Kepler Wessels’ fine 105, South Africa posted 357 in their first innings. Allan Donald bowled a fiery spell as he took 5/74 helping the Proteas skittle out England for just 180.
The hosts had already conceded a big lead and the game was quickly slipping away. England were bowled out on the third morning and South Africa were slowly taking full control of the game. And Atherton during that innings (on the third day) decided to rub the ball with some sand which was in his pocket. He was caught on camera and was breaching Law 42.5.
Atherton in his defence tried to suggest that to keep his hands dry so that the rough side of the ball stays dry and his sweaty hands don’t moist the rough part of the ball.
The former opening batsman was not fined or banned by the ICC by the England Cricket Board (ECB) imposed a £2,000 fine. England went onto to lose that Test match but made a good comeback and squared the series 1-1 in the final Test match.