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5 times when cricketers were penalised for ball tampering

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Shahid A
Shahid Afridi bites the ball

Sports is a great teacher. It gives you an opportunity to imbibe the qualities of discipline, teamwork, sacrifice, endurance, determination, and perseverance to name a few. Every sport is played with a set of rules and laws that govern the one's playing it, breaking which leads to punishment and penalty to teach a lesson for future.

In the heat of the battle and in a bid to win, sometimes players forget that they are not supposed to cross a certain line which they do by their unexpected behaviour or activities on or off the field. Such activities bring disgrace to the sport and it is important for the guilty to be penalised to avoid the occurrence of any such event in the future.

Ball tampering is one kind of offence on the cricket field in which the fielding team or a member of their team is accused of illegally trying to alter the condition of the ball. Under the laws of cricket, the only actions permitted on a ball are wiping a wet ball with a dry towel, polishing it for shine not using any artificial substance or removing mud from it only under umpire supervision.

Any other action on the ball in order to tamper with the seam or condition of it leads to a charge of ball tampering. Usually, fielding teams try altering the seam position of the ball to change its aerodynamics and achieve greater amount of reverse swing from it.

There have been numerous instances of such malicious activity on the part of bowlers and fielders which has been penalised by the ICC with the latest one coming to light in the ongoing South Africa-Australia test series.

Captain Steve Smith and opener Cameron Bancroft have pleaded guilty to tampering with the ball as the latter was caught rubbing a yellow sticker on the ball which has taken the name of the 'Sandpaper Gate'.

#1 Waqar Younis

Waqar was the best exponent of reverse swing in international cricket
Waqar was the best exponent of reverse swing in international cricket

In 2000, Pakistan were playing an ODI match of the trip series involving them, hosts Sri Lanka, and South Africa. Star Pakistan bowler Waqar Younis was caught on camera scuffing the side of the ball with his thumbnails and also scratching its seam.

Although the incident was missed by on-field umpires, match referee John Reid took note of Waqar's attempt of tampering with the ball. Having already warned the bowler for the same action in the recently concluded test series, Reid handed the 'King of Reverse Swing' a one-match ban and a penalty of fifty percent of his match fee.

Thus Younis, who ended up with 416 ODI and 373 Test wickets became the first man to be banned for ball tampering in cricket. Similar accusations were made on Waqar's teammate Azhar Mahmood who was let off with a warning and a thirty percent deduction in match fee.

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