PLEASE READ THE OP BEFORE POSTING!
This is a video which I discovered a few months ago, one which includes footage of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Aaqib Javed allegedly tampering with the ball during the 1992 Test series tour to England.
Every passionate Pakistan supporter is well aware of how the issue was heavily blown out of proportion by the English press and players (possibly due to jealousy and not being able to understand the art of the Pakistani pacemen - particularly the two W's - with their reverse-swing) but I digress from the actual matter I wish to discuss.
If you notice from the footage, what the Pakistani seamers were doing is slightly defacing the condition of the ball by picking leather off the ball using their fingernails. Clearly, they weren't utilising any implement to tamper with the ball and as such, I feel that their actions should be regarded as lawful.
Reverse-swing is a wonderful art for pace bowlers and is something which reinvigorated the art of pace bowling - particularly on the sub-continent where the ball tends to scuff early and lose its early shine, and hence conventional swing, on those abrasive and docile pitches of the SC. It represents an additional tool for pace bowlers on those flat pitches with almost non-existent seam movement (rendering the "simply bowl with a good line and length" mantra futile) and when conducted properly, is a wonderful sight for fans of the sport to witness. It would be a great shame if the art disappeared due to resistant individuals of the ICC not wanting to pollute a game played by "puritans".
Moreover, it is evident that there is a certain skill in bowling reverse-swing and swinging the ball prodigiously too and isn't as simple as the formula of defacing the ball intrinsically leads to reverse-swing suggests. It is obvious that many international teams desperately seek to reverse-swing the ball (the 'Zippergate' fiasco), but not all have been able to do so - further evidence of how it is not as easy to achieve as primitive assumptions indicate. It requires to be conducted by express pace bowlers generally to be successful (greater pace tends to lead to a greater amount of reverse-swing - the Waqar Younis example) and like conventional swing, isn't as simple as common thought speculates it ought to be.
A large majority of people like to believe that a brand new cherry automatically equates to swing, but clearly not every single Tom, **** and Harry can't swing it consistently and prominently (i.e Junaid Khan and Mohammed Irfan). Likewise, reverse-swing can't really be utilised to tremendous success by the total uninitiated.
Now currently, according to subsection 3 of Law 42, any fielder may:
(i) polish the ball provided that no artificial substance is used and that such polishing wastes no time.
(ii) remove mud from the ball under the supervision of the umpire.
(iii) dry a wet ball on a piece of cloth.
Furthermore, this subsection continues onwards to state: "It is unfair for anyone to rub the ball on the ground for any reason, to interfere with any of the seams or the surface of the ball, to use any implement, or to take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball, except as those procedures permitted above."
The points which I've highlighted are those which I wanted to hear varying opinions on . The banning of the use of an implement is a decree which I wholeheartedly and uncompromisingly agree with because not having such a ruling leaves cricket liable to ridicule and vulgarity upon the field (especially in the context of the Spirit of Cricket). This is due to the fact that if it wasn't in place, I'd have no doubt that frankly ridiculous (and genuinely cringe-worthy) instruments would be utilised to alter the condition of the ball and literally remove chunks of leather from the corky - from bottle tops to spikes of shoes and even teeth! - not to mention the problem of regulation.
I've provided my argument: do you believe ball-tampering (with absolutely no implements) should be condoned? I'd be interested in reading the opinions of many posters on this debate.