Ten South Australian cricketers who were evicted from a nightclub are under investigation for alleged breaches of COVID-19 rules.
Victorian bowling coach Mick Lewis has been fined but escaped suspension after pleading guilty to ball tampering on the third day of the Sheffield Shield final.
The former Australian one-day international bowler was slapped with a $2,266 fine – the equivalent of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee – after kicking the ball into the fence and raking it against the concrete gutter following boundary to South Australian opener Mark Cosgrove.
The ball was changed on inspection by umpires Paul Wilson and Mick Martell after another boundary was hit two overs later, with the Redbacks awarded five penalty runs in their second innings.
“Ball tampering is a very serious offence and simply won’t be tolerated at any level of the game,” Cricket Australia head of operations Sean Carey said.
“We acknowledge that he has apologised to the South Australian team and the match officials and hope the matter deters others from doing anything like this in the future.”
The incident also drew the ire of the team’s coach David Saker, according to Cricket Victoria CEO Tony Dodemaide.
“Cricket Victoria does not condone any action to gain an unfair advantage in any form, were committed to playing fair cricket in the spirit of the game,” Dodemaide said.
“Victorian coach David Saker was extremely disappointed in Mick’s actions and also that he cost the side five runs in what could be a very close match.”
It’s not the first time Lewis has drawn the attention of officials for ball tampering.
In 2005 he was the subject of the first video review in Australian domestic cricket after he was captured applying pressure to the ball with his thumbnail during a Shield match against Queensland.
He was issued a warning but escaped without an official charge.
In the same year Saker was cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation into alleged ball tampering while coaching the Victorian second XI side.
Aaron Finch, who has captained Victoria, was fined for ball tampering while playing a Shield match in 2010.
The Redbacks were also at the centre of a similar controversy in 2014, when then-captain Johan Botha was banned for one match for altering the condition of the ball in a game against NSW.
Former South Australian and Australian batsman Greg Blewett labelled the Lewis incident a “disgrace” on Twitter on Monday, while former teammate Jason Gillespie also let rip.
“Very poor from anyone let alone a member of the support staff,” he tweeted.