Australian Mick Lewis, the bowling coach of Victoria, has been fined more than $2,000 for tampering with the ball during the final of the Sheffield Shield domestic first class competition against South Australia.
The former Australia fast bowler pleaded guilty to a charge of ball tampering which arose from an incident on the third day of the four-day match on Monday in which the umpires found the state of the ball had been altered after being handled by Lewis.
Cricket Australia said, “ball tampering is a very serious offence and simply won’t be tolerated at any level of the game.”
It said as it was Lewis’ first offense he would not be suspended but would pay a fine of #2,266, equivalent to half a player’s match fee.
Television replays showed that after a boundary had been hit by a South Australia batsman, Lewis appeared to kick the ball under a picket fence, then scrape it against a concrete gutter before returning it to a fieldsman.
Umpires Paul Wilson and Mick Martell inspected the ball two overs later and decided its conditions had been altered and it should be replaced.
After discussion with match referee Steve Benard, the umpires awarded South Australia five bonus runs in its second innings.
Cricket Australia said Bernard “addressed the matter as soon as it was brought to his attention, spoke at length to Mick Lewis about it and has handed down the subsequent penalty.
“We acknowledge that (Lewis) has apologized to the South Australian team and the match officials and hope the matter deters others from doing anything like this in the future.”