Mickey Arthur, Sri Lanka head coach has claimed ball-tampering was rampant since well before the 2018 Sandpaper Gate saga. Former South Africa and Australia coach feels it will be ‘naive’ to think that players didn’t subtly use sweeteners and gums to maintain the ball before.
Ball-tampering has been highlighted once again after Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft’s widely-reported revelations regarding those who were privy to the sandpaper plot in the infamous Cape Town Test. However, it wasn’t the first time that a player was caught with an extraneous substance on the ground.
Mickey Arthur: Ball Tampering Caesed Since The Cape Town Test In 2008 Because Of Scruinity By The Umpires
Mickey Arthur asserted that players have used tricks to sweeten their saliva, apparently to get a better shine on the ball. He also explained that such incidents have ceased since the Cape Town Test because of increased scrutiny by the umpires.
“You’d be naive to say otherwise. You’d be naive to think teams hadn’t tried some sweets to sweeten up your saliva to give the ball a buff – teams were doing that. [Now] I think everybody’s just a little bit on edge.
“I do think people are too scared to try anything. The ball is being checked numerous times in any game. Every couple of overs the ball goes to the umpire and he has a look at it,” Mickey Arthur told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Hair gel, sweets, mint, lip bam, bottle caps, and cough lozenge are some of the many things used in the past to maintain the shine-rough balance on the ball. And those accused are not short of esteemed names – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, James Anderson, and Waqar Younis – to name a few.
Mickey Arthur Would Like To See Reverse Swing Which Is An Incredibly Good Skill
The main reason Cameron Bancroft carried yellow sandpaper to Newlands was to scuff in some reverse swing for Mitchell Starc-led Australian pace attack. The art once used to break unbreakable partnerships and rattle tailenders quickly now seem long lost.
Mickey Arthur, too, feels that there’s “no better sight” than seeing balls reverse swinging at pace. He believes it is internal to cricket that reverse swing is restored legally at the earliest.
“I would like to see a reverse swing back in the game without a doubt. I think reverse swing is an incredible art. When a bowler gets it to go it’s an incredibly good skill. Obviously, we’re talking about getting the ball to go legally. It’s amazing to watch. There’s no better sight than when a fast bowler is running in and getting the ball to reverse at good pace,” Mickey Arthur added.
Mickey Arthur-coached Sri Lanka will next face Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series away from home between 23rd and 28th May.
Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar was accused of scuffing the seam by running his fingers on it by match referee Mike Denness during the second test against South Africa in 2001. Sachin Tendulkar maintained his innocence saying that he was trying to remove dirt from the ball in wet conditions but was handed a suspended one-match ban.
The Indian team threatened to pull out of the tour if the decision was not reversed. The Indian cricket board (BCCI) boycotted the third Test and fielded a reserve team to play an unofficial test.
Indian batsman Rahul Dravid rubbed a cough lozenge on the shiny side of the ball during a one-day international win over Zimbabwe in a triangular series held at Brisbane. He was found to be guilty by match referee Clive Lloyd and was fined 50 percent of his match fee.
During a controversial test at the Oval, England was awarded five extra runs after Pakistan was accused of ball-tampering by umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove. Pakistan refused to take the field after the tea break, in protest of the decision and forfeited the test.