Kiwi bowlers tampered the ball with bottle tops. Adam Parore

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by HuskerFan, Feb 7, 2010.

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 0)

  1. HuskerFan

    HuskerFan Talented

    Jan 30, 2010
    Adam Parore: Afridi offers food for thought
    By Adam Parore View as one page
    4:00 AM Saturday Feb 6, 2010

    I'd love to know what Shahid Afridi was actually trying to achieve by biting the ball during Pakistan's one-day match against Australia in Perth.

    Afridi has offered no real explanation and it remains a mystery. Occasionally players bite off loose bits of string and I thought he might use something like that as an excuse.

    The resulting uproar has reignited the debate about ball tampering.

    Some famous figures have suggested over the years that bowlers be allowed to doctor the ball more than they are now allowed, but I believe the rules are about right as they stand.

    Players are allowed to shine the ball, but not rough it up.

    To change this rule would be dangerous because where would the ball doctoring stop? The umpires would have a very difficult time trying to control the situation.

    Of course a New Zealand team I was in performed a very famous bit of ball tampering in Pakistan, retribution for what the home team had been doing. Chris Pringle was the major beneficiary in that 1990 test in Faisalabad, taking 11 wickets after we went to work with a bottle top.

    We had practised roughing the ball up with the bottle top in the nets before the test and I even managed to get some devastating late swing on the ball.

    Pakistan were the masters of ball tampering, and got away with it for 15 or 20 years because no one really knew what was going on.

    Normally the ball swings towards the rough side, and mainly when the ball is new or fairly new. By working on the ball, reverse swing - towards the shiny side - can be achieved in stages of the game when it would be difficult to get any swing at all. You also get excellent late swing via the reverse method.

    The first thing to do is get rid of the varnish and then get moisture into the rough side, altering the balance of the ball. The Pakistanis found a method of doing this with their fingers, and could do it in a way that was not obvious.

    Clearly, with reverse swing still being apart of test cricket, minor doctoring of the ball is still going on. I don't believe it is possible to get reverse swing without some illegal work on the ball. But it is being done in a way that is actually good for the game, giving the bowlers more chance when batsmen could absolutely dominate.

    By using an over-the-top method such as employing a bottle top, you get sudden and exaggerated swing.

    Gently working on the ball produces a gradual change and the effects aren't so dramatic.

    And with so many cameras on the game now, and the umpires up to speed on what can go on, the whole situation is pretty well controlled.

    In other words, this remains a grey area, but the results are working.

    It would be a grave mistake to open the floodgates and allow blatant tampering to take place. If the ICC allowed that you would struggle to get tests lasting into the fifth day, and totals over 250 would even be rare.

    Finally we at last have some international cricket with the arrival of Bangladesh, but this is a hard tour to sell and will not provide the Black Caps with great preparation for Australia.

    The main danger for our top order will be in the adjustment needed from facing the Bangladesh bowlers, who tend to skid the ball on, compared with the Aussie pacemen who really bang the ball into the pitch.

    Expect to see our top order firmly on the front foot over the next few weeks.

    While this is likely to produce plenty of runs, far better footwork will be required for the Aussies, giving new batting coach Mark Greatbatch the first real challenge of his tenure.
  2. Mercenary

    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

    Dec 17, 2009
    As long as it isn't a Pakistani roughing up the ball, it's all legal. Bottle tops, hard boiled sweets or shoe spikes.

Share This Page