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Thread: Ball-tampering: should it be authorised?

  1. #1
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    Ball-tampering: should it be authorised?

    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.
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  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Tbf, it's been authorised by Pakistan for about three decades.

    I don't think you should be allowed to deliberately alter the condition of the ball, but I can understand why people think you should in a game where pretty much every adjustment to the rules works in favour of batsmen.
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    International Regular NasserFan207's Avatar
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    People do and have always altered the condition of the ball, its an age old cricket tradition. Its a massive grey area.

    I generally say as long as foreign objects aren't used who cares.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NasserFan207 View Post
    I generally say as long as foreign objects aren't used who cares.
    Agree with it. Keep zippers, bottle caps etc out. Also, now days, umpires are quick to change the ball. In earlier era, you could tamper to your heart content without any issue. That was bit too much.

    Since umpires are now quick to change the ball , I don't have issue with tampering as long as foreign objects are not used.


  5. #5
    Cricketer Of The Year Cabinet96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NasserFan207 View Post
    People do and have always altered the condition of the ball, its an age old cricket tradition. Its a massive grey area.

    I generally say as long as foreign objects aren't used who cares.
    So this would just allow the use of teeth and nails to what is already done. Can't think it would change things too much and would certainly clear the waters somewhat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    This English top three are cornflakes. They're not the most exciting thing out but they're pretty effective. Then the middle order are the sugar. Would be too much on their own but added to the cornflakes they add some much needed interest

    When KP returns he will be the banana..

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    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Yeh why not? Should be able to change to a compo ball or a kanga cricket ball too if the cricket ball in its natural shape, or after being "worked on" isn't working for the bowler.

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    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NasserFan207 View Post
    People do and have always altered the condition of the ball, its an age old cricket tradition. Its a massive grey area.

    I generally say as long as foreign objects aren't used who cares.
    But srsly, why would you let guys bite a chunk out of the ball, or pull bits of leather off with their fingernails?

  8. #8
    International Regular OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    If it is allowed, it needs to be done carefully with specifics clearly spelt out as to what's allowed and what's not. Anyway I don't really feel a change is necessary at all... People who want to tamper it do so anyway without too much of consequence. Out right saying ball tampering is allowed could see players going crazy with it. Just let it remain as it is, but be lenient.
    Last edited by OverratedSanity; 07-08-2014 at 09:57 PM.
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    International Debutant Adders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    If it is allowed, it needs to be done carefully with specifics clearly spelt out as to what's allowed and what's not. Anyway I don't really feel a change is necessary at all... People who want to tamper it do so anyway without too much of consequence. Out right saying ball tampering is allowed could see players going crazy with it. Just let it remain as it is, but be lenient.
    This 100%.

    What we've got now works. I think umpires are lenient and turn a blind eye to stuff that's not strictly by the rules but not going way over board........if we relax the laws or make it "authorised" the players will naturally push those boundaries and we might end up with the sort of **** that none of us want to see.

    It would be nice to have a clear cut line but I don't think that's possible. So long as the umpires aren't getting heavy handed with throws in on the bounce, <England players> sucking Murray Mints etc then we have a pretty good status quo at the moment.

    I agree with the basic sentiment of the OP though, reverse swing is great for the game but it doesn't just happen..........the "stuff" that makes it happen should not be penalised, so long as it remains within the boundaries that most players and officials seem to have adopted.

  10. #10
    U19 Debutant Biryani Pillow's Avatar
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    It wasn't 'blown out of proportion' by the English media in 1992.

    If an English bowler gouged a ball like Aaqib Javid did in the Oval Test that summer - Richie Benaud's comment was "Hey, you can't do that!!!" - it would have been headline news. As it was the footage has never been seen again on UK TV.

    During an ODI at Lords the umpires changed the ball at lunch. The Pakistan management complained at the insult to their honour. The authorities said if they didn't agree to the change the ball would be shown on TV.

    It was changed.

    And soon after all umpires were directed to take possession of the ball at the fall of each wicket.

    The more extreme reverse swing - when a ball would change from going straight on to going around corners in the space of two or three overs - magically disappeared.

    The Laws as they are now are about right,

    Umpires and players are pretty aware of 'natural wear' and players tend o produce he ball for inspection immediately if a strange mark appears - it will likely be apparent what has caused this.

    A couple of my colleagues, in the League game the other week, noticed the ball (on a wet day) was staying strangely shiny. They inspected the ball and found rather more sawdust on it than was 'natural'. They called over the Captain (a very good, well liked, and normally very sporting player) and found 'excessive' sawdust on his hands. He was sent off, with a flea in his ear, to clean his hands and the cloth was applied to the ball.
    Last edited by Biryani Pillow; 08-08-2014 at 04:32 AM.

  11. #11
    International Regular NasserFan207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    But srsly, why would you let guys bite a chunk out of the ball, or pull bits of leather off with their fingernails?
    I dunno. I think so long as you don't do anything crazy it doesn't matter. I mean tampering like that is beyond obvious, so its not a problem to catch people eating the ball or whatever. So long as the seam isn't removed its fine with me.

  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    There have to be limits, and wherever they are set the fielding side will push their luck so, as the problem can't be eradicated, I say leave the law as it is

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    There have to be limits, and wherever they are set the fielding side will push their luck so,
    Agreed , we don't want to have situations where even bowlers like Pringle can reverse it in a big way by openly using bottle caps.

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