It’s just not cricket – ball tampering needs to be addressed

Duncan Gering Roar Rookie

By Duncan Gering, Duncan Gering is a Roar Rookie

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    How unbelievable is South African cricket? When South Africa turn games that are petering toward a draw or tight loss into an incredible win with a withering burst of amazing and unprecedented reverse swing, we Roarers and laud the incredible skill of their bowlers.

    And yet there have been two confirmed instances of South African players’ ball tampering in nine months and one further allegation which could not (or would not) be pursued against South African cricket. I actually thought David Warner was full of it when he made those infamous calls months ago, but he’s smelling a bit more of roses right now.

    I’m not saying that the South African attack isn’t very, very good, but even a world-class attack can find the going hard on a flat track in dry conditions. We all thought it was the ability of Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn to find something in the track that no-one else could was what made them so good.

    You might think I have an axe to grind, and you’d be right. I hate it when teams or individuals do the wrong thing to win and then carry on like it’s business as usual when caught. At least have the guts to face the music and change. Twice (or thrice) in nine months, with no apparent change of policy, is unbelievable!

    So where to from here. Nothing hits home like the inability to earn money in your chosen profession, but the ICC won’t ban players so that’s out. In fact the ICC will basically do nothing, almost like it didn’t happen (probably the subject of another article).

    But maybe Ian Chappell has the right idea, allow the fielding team to do whatever they like to the ball with the exception of using artificial agents (i.e. no knives, bottle tops, nail files etc) and bring the balance of power back to the bowlers a little.

    I’d like to see how the South Africa batsmen cope with that kind of pressure.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • July 22nd 2014 @ 12:58pm
      AlanKC said | July 22nd 2014 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

      Psst, we aren’t supposed to remember the shellacking Warner copped for daring to intimate that something was wrong with their ability to get reverse so much earlier than anyone else.

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 5:44pm
        Davros said | July 22nd 2014 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

        Yes I wondered myself why most peoples reaction was that Warner was full of shit ?…you have someone right at the coal face who WOULD know (not us mugs sitting behind our keyboards back home being fed a steady diet of premasticated sanitized media guff) …and he would have surely known he was making a huge statement…I took the man at his word…this is nothing new, they been getting away with it forever…probably along with very body else.

    • July 22nd 2014 @ 2:24pm
      David Baker said | July 22nd 2014 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

      As an SA supporter I am seriously annoyed with Philander and even more annoyed si team management for the attempt to keep it out the press (how stupid are they?)

      However I am not ready to say this is ‘policy’ and even less likely to listen to Warner. Two transgressions doesn’t make Warner correct..

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 2:36pm
        FunkieD said | July 22nd 2014 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

        As an Essendon supporter I can totally sympathise with you David. I’m not sure I’ll ever go to another Bombers game, although I can’t quite bring myself to support a different side. I’m assuming here that you know AFL.

        I will say that SA can technically transgress another 9 times as long as it’s never the same guy doing the “picking” and the ICC will do nothing. And I think it is policy, and sadly I think it’s been going on for quite a while.

        So how good are SA really, if they have to use unfair advantage to win games ?

        • July 22nd 2014 @ 2:42pm
          Stellenbosched said | July 22nd 2014 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          Hi FunkieD,

          I am disgusted by Philanders conduct. However, you have absolutely no proof whatsoever to claim that cheating is SA’s policy. If you want to talk about unfair advantage then we should mention three countries that have high jacked cricket.

          • July 22nd 2014 @ 3:19pm
            FunkieD said | July 22nd 2014 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            Stellenbosched, you’re absolutely right, I’ve no proof, which is why I said “I think ..”.

            But on this, there are many journalists who never had proof of Armstrong’s drug taking but that published their opinion anyway (and sadly many more who didn’t). I’m saying that three instances in 9 months paints a pretty convincing picture in my mind.

            On the dirty three – I’m disgusted about that too. I’d like for the other nations could find a way to undermine this unholy trinity, but sadly everyone else is broke and the bad guys hold all the cash. I’m not clear on how India, Eng and Aus would parlay their hijacking into winning individual games of cricket as SA appear to have done (although you never know what N Srinivasan could come up with).

    • July 22nd 2014 @ 2:46pm
      FunkieD said | July 22nd 2014 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

      Question for the editors – was my submitted version really that inflammatory that you buried it with an inoffensive title and slashed paragraphs. Some edits I get (my conversational writing style isn’t for everyone), but some I don’t really understand. I think you significantly reduced the impact of my piece.
      The definition of cheat is “to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage”. I think it’s fair to say that twice in nine months SA have been found by the match referee to have broken the rules of the game in order to gain an advantage. I take issue with the removal of that word.

      Happy to have an offline discussion on this with you.

    • Columnist

      July 22nd 2014 @ 3:46pm
      Ronan O'Connell said | July 22nd 2014 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

      “We’re not a team that scratches the ball. I know Faf very well, he’s the last man to try anything like that.”

      These were the statements made by AB de Villiers after Warner’s accusations, bizarrely overlooking the fact that Faf had indeed been done for interfering with the ball just months previous.

      Now Philander’s been caught too. There were a lot of South African fans who slated Warner after his accusations. Not sure if they can read this article, what with all that egg on their face.

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 4:14pm
        David Baker said | July 22nd 2014 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

        Ronan, I really don’t get your chain of logic.

        I can call Warner and unsporting prat and Philander a ball tamperer and be correct both times.

        Because Philander used his finger nail doesn’t in any universe make Warner correct.
        And that example isn’t the only reason why Warner has been insulted.
        Granted he is a superb batsman but he does have his own demons

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 10:40pm
        Sideline Comm. said | July 22nd 2014 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

        I’d be so embarrassed if the Aussies were caught doing this repeatedly, it needs to disappear from the game. Forced forfeiture to the culprit might achieve that.

        It’s a bit of a pity really, all these accusations. When people think back to this team in the future, they’ll think: “yeah sure, they were a very good team, but what about all that ball tampering business? How good were they actually?”

        Not really fair to their legacy, but when you cheat your claim to fair treatment is forfeited. They may always be champions with an asterisks I’m afraid.

    • July 22nd 2014 @ 3:55pm
      RobK said | July 22nd 2014 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

      Dear Roarers – I want the full unabridged article.I CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH!

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 4:24pm
        Duncan Gering said | July 22nd 2014 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

        RobK, the truth is that Vern and Faf were charged with ball tampering. The rest is my opinion.

    • July 22nd 2014 @ 4:47pm
      felix said | July 22nd 2014 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

      Anything to put down the Saffers,Vernon has given Aussie journos plenty of ammunition.
      Not even a mention of the fact that the empires said they didnt think he’s actions affected the game or ball but still that doesnt make what he did excusable.

      How about reporting on any positive happening in SA cricket like the article above about India and England,SA vs Sri Lanka would of been written about had SA lost the match.

      Aussy media is so predictable when it comes to writing about SA,what can I say you people really know how to pick the best moments in SA.

      I’m used to it by now and logged on to theroar expecting this,come onn is this spite or what??

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 7:46pm
        Wrongun said | July 22nd 2014 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

        Felix, you’re kidding right, you’re having a laugh init, you’re pulling our proverbial leg slip, surely? If Jeremy Clarkeson just got on camera and said, “yeah, this car is alright and this one is ok too, oh and I like this a bit more” would Top Gear be as successful? This is a forum for people to express their views. And more to the point calling this Aussy (sic) media is a bit of a laugh. Anyone can get a Roar account and write articles. Duncan decided that based on evidence from two (or three) recent events that it might be worth writing something. I’m lead to believe that CSA ‘encouraged’ the broadcaster not to show footage of the dreaded act…..well that’s a little suspect don’t you think? Point is, we should all extract the digit and write something interesting like Duncan has done. I’d rather read something I disagree with than something that provides no opinion no interest and nothing worthy of a response.

        • July 22nd 2014 @ 10:05pm
          felix said | July 22nd 2014 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

          Damn you Vern,embarrassing!!!!!.
          Satisfactory answer I guess we have to start all over and prove our ability as a test team.

          More pressure for the second test to make it a bigger victory without Verns mishaps . . . . .

      • July 22nd 2014 @ 9:21pm
        ozinsa said | July 22nd 2014 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

        That the Saffas chose not to defend the charges against them speaks volumes for the planning behind this crime. If it wasn’t significant and it was only Vern (or Faf), why not fight it? Instead they say nothing, cop the fine and go on. Whether they’ll risk it again will be interesting to see but the reverse it allowed Steyn to find would make it very tempting in a series decider where wickets were needed.

        This is shameful and, typically, the ICC punishment is a joke. Test matches are decided (or at least diverted) by cheating and the penalty is a fine that would be covered by a few spectators’ gate takings.

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