Ashes 2017 - 18: England under scanner for ball tampering
What's the story?
England may be found to have been tampering the condition of the ball on the morning of the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne.
Stuart Broad threw the ball towards wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow, but it bounced short only to hit the hard wicket block. Their lead pacer James Anderson was then caught on camera keenly observing and tinkering with the quarter-seam running down the face of the ball.
That led umpires Sundaram Ravi and Kumar Dharmasena to have a word with captain Joe Root.
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England were 164 runs ahead in the first innings and Australia had begun their second essay when Anderson was alleged to have tampered with the condition of the ball.
The heart of the matter
Experts condemned the action and said Anderson could even face the whip of the ICC. "I'm not sure you are allowed to use your fingernail there," Shane Warne said on Nine's Wide World of Sports broadcast. “If you are going to touch the ball at all, it's not just shining it, you want to do it right in front of the umpire so they know there is nothing untoward going on.”
Co-commentator Michael Slater added: "You can't get your nail into the ball. That's a no-no."
“Certainly getting a thumb nail into the ball is against the rules. So it'll be interesting to see what happens and if anything plays out there,” said Mike Hussey.
With the fourth day called off and Australia having their two best batsmen in Steven Smith and David Warner at the crease after losing two early wickets, things could get extremely interesting on the final morning.
There is video evidence of Anderson altering the seam of the ball with his nail, the Match Referee and the ICC might soon enter into the picture to penalise him. Also, it will be keenly awaited if his deed has any further impact on the match.