Rahul Dravid tampering was deliberate: Clive Lloyd
The ICC match-referee has dismissed India's claims that it was an 'innocent mistake' by Dravid.Updated: Jan 22, 2004 12:49 IST
International Cricket Council match referee Clive Lloyd has dismissed India's claims that vice-captain Rahul Dravid's ball-tampering conviction resulted from an innocent mistake, it was reported on Thursday.
Lloyd fined Dravid 50 percent of his match fee after television pictures showed the batsman rubbing a yellow lozenge on the shiny side of the white ball during India's one-day victory over Zimbabwe in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Indian coach John Wright and captain Sourav Ganguly insisted the incident occurred when an energy lozenge accidentally stuck to Dravid's fingers as applied saliva to the ball and the television footage showed him trying to remove the offending substance.
But Lloyd told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that the pictures conclusively showed Dravid breaching the rules by applying material to the ball.
"It couldn't have been accidental because he's been fined," Lloyd told the newspaper. "It was shown he was applying a substance to it. I looked at the film and it was conclusive."
He did not accept India's "accidental" defence.
"The footage shows that something has been applied to the ball and the rules state you are not allowed to do that... something was being applied to the ball quite obviously and he must have known it, it's quite conclusive on film," he said.
Lloyd also told the newspaper it was incorrect to assume the ICC hearing had considered the offence to be at the lower end of the scale because Dravid received only a 50 percent match fee fine.
He said Dravid only escaped a more serious punishment because of his exemplary prior record.
"We could fine 50 percent or 100 percent, a Test or two one-day internationals but we took into account his past record," he said.
Cricket Australia, which has been performing media work on the ICC's behalf during the one-day series, could not confirm Lloyd's comments.
First Published: Jan 22, 2004 11:44 IST