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Vaughan says England 'lucky' over ball tampering

world Updated: Jan 07, 2010 20:27 IST
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Former captain Michael Vaughan on Thursday said England had been "lucky" to escape official censure over allegations of ball tampering in the ongoing third Test against South Africa.

But Michael Atherton, another ex-England captain, said Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the two pace bowlers at the centre of the controversy, were victims of "trial by television".

The Proteas raised concerns over the state of the ball after television pictures during Tuesday's third day at Newlands in Cape Town showed broad stopping the ball with his boot spikes and, moments later, Anderson working on the ball.

Ultimately, no formal complaint was raised by South Africa and that led the International Cricket Council (ICC) to announce the matter was closed as far as it was concerned.

With England 179 for five at lunch at final day today, well adrift of their victory target of 466, and South Africa closing in on a 1-1 series levelling victory, it seemed that what, if anything, the tourists had done had little impact.

But Vaughan, in his column in the London Daily Telegraph, was in no doubt England had been fortunate to avoid disciplinary action.

"They were lucky to get away without an official reprimand, or even a ban because there was no doubt in my mind that they were trying to change the condition of the ball," he said.