Ryan Harris angrily criticized the ball tampering issue which took place recently in Sri Lanka vs. South Africa match. The Australian bowler labelled the ball tampering as “match fixing”. He commented this after a day of Vernon Philander’s fine regarding this ball tampering issue.
The 29-year-old Vernon Philander was deemed to have scratched the surface of the ball with his finger and thumb during Friday’s third-day’s play in Galle. He was fined 75% of his match fee for breaching clause 42.1 of the ICC’s match playing conditions as footage viewed by the umpires. He is the second South African who is charged for this issue in last nine months. Last October, Faf du Plessis was caught by television cameras rubbing the ball close to the zip on his trouser pocket during a Test match against Pakistan in the UAE and was fined 50% of his match fee.
In that match, South Africa’s team manager Mohammed Moosajee explained that du Plessis did not challenge the charge against him because a full hearing could lead to more severe punitive measure, and explained that du Plessis was only trying to dry the ball.Philander’s this illegal action was not aired but it was reviewed at the end of the day by on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough as well as third umpire Nigel Llong, fourth umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge and match referee Jeff Crowe.
Revamping the condition of the ball is a level two offence under the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct, which carries a penalty of 50% to 100% of the match fee and/or suspension from one Test or two one-day internationals. Philander did not dispute the charge and he accepted his punishment.
Ryan Harris felt disgusted when he was talking about this issue. He said that ball tampering is same as match fixing to him. He also said that he did not know Philander very well but he would not have thought teams would go out and do that deliberately. He was speaking from Darwin, where he is coaching Australia A bowlers. Ryan remembered the Australia South Africa series where he played a crucial role in Australia’s 2-1 win over South Africa in February and March. He said that Steyn, Philander and Morkel is a good bowler and refused to conjecture on whether the South Africans had altered the condition of the ball during their series against Australia.