Ball-tampering row hits Australia in Newlands Test against South Africa
The South Africa vs Australia Newlands Test faced further controversy after video footage of an Australian player, reportedly to be Cameron Bancroft, suggests that he is scraping the ball with an object from his pocket.cricket Updated: Mar 24, 2018 20:07 IST
The South Africa vs Australia Test series has seen a slew of controversies and the already combustible Newlands Test has plunged into another row on Saturday. Video footage has emerged of an Australian fielder, reportedly Cameron Bancroft, apparently taking a scrap of sandpaper from his pocket to rub on the ball on the third day of the Cape Town Test. (SOUTH AFRICA vs AUSTRALIA 3rd TEST NEWLANDS HIGHLIGHTS)
The video footage has been shared by many social media users, with South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn – not in the squad as the recovers from injury -- tweeting from his handle, “Can we talk about this?” The tweet is accompanied by a photo of Bancroft taking out an object – which looks like sandpaper -- from his pocket. There is more video footage which shows the umpires in intense discussion following the incident.
The Australian opener appeared to rub the ball with a yellow item, which was then returned to his pocket before being dropped down the front of his trousers. Bancroft produced a black sunglasses carrier when pressed over the incident by the umpires, appearing to imply that the case was the only item in his pocket.
The Newlands Test has already been marred with the Australian team complaining about abusive behaviour by the crowd. Australia coach Darren Lehmann stated on Friday that Cricket Australia has written to Cricket South Africa over the behaviour in the stands. Lehmann’s criticism comes after David Warner exchanged verbals with a fan as he headed to the dressing room following his dismissal by Kagiso Rabada.
The South Africa fast bowler himself was banned for two Tests for shoulder-charging Australia skipper Steve Smith after dismissing him, but it was overturned on appeal. David Warner and Quinton de Kock were involved in a verbal clash on the steps leading to the dressing room during the Durban Test. Warner was docked 75 percent of his match fee.
The ‘ball-tampering’ between South Africa and Australia is nothing new. During the Hobart Test in November 2016, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis was charged with ball-tampering after TV footage appeared to show the Proteas skipper applying saliva to the ball with a lolly in his mouth. Du Plessis pleaded not guilty but was fined his entire match fee.
Du Plessis was earlier involved in a ball-tampering incident during a Test against Pakistan in 2013. He was found guilty and fined 50 percent of his match fee.