What is "ball tampering" in cricket? How can we say ball is tampered? Any punishments for tampering? Can somebody list the name of players who were punished?


What is ball tampering in cricket? How can we say ball is tampered?

As per law 42 (Fair and unfair play) (emphasis mine):

3. The match ball - changing its condition

(a) Any fielder may

(i) Polish the ball provided that no artificial substance is used and that such polishing wastes no time.

(ii) Remove mud from the ball under the supervision of the umpire.

(iii) Dry a wet ball on a piece of cloth.

(b) It is unfair for anyone to rub the ball on the ground for any reason, to interfere with any of the seams or the surface of the ball, to use any implement, or to take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball, except as permitted in (a) above.

So it is illegal to alter the condition of the ball by actions except permitted in (a). Like, rubbing the ball on the ground, scuffing with a fingernail or other sharp object etc. Such actions are call as Ball Tampering.

Any punishments for tampering? Can some body list the names of players who was punished.

This is up to the level of the ball tempering and the match referee. Usually the opposite team is awarded 5 penalty runs, the player is banned for few matches, is fined the match fee.

There was a big controversy of a ball tampering in the match between England and Pakistan in August 2006. ruled that the Pakistani team had been involved in ball tampering. They awarded 5 runs penalty to England and the ball was replaced. However, Pakistani team denied it and refused to play after tea. After waiting for few time, the umpires awarded the match to England.

  • What happen after the ball is changed its shape? Is it good for swing ? – katta Jul 17 '14 at 5:59
  • @katta - The main purpose of the ball tampering is to achieve more favourable bowling conditions. Like shine one side of the ball by applying lip balm for more swing etc. – Himanshu Jansari Jul 17 '14 at 6:06

What is ball tampering in cricket?

It is an action in which a fielder illegally alters the condition of the ball. It'll make the fast bowlers ease to swing the ball in the air. So, it is easy to bowl reverse swing with (early overs)new balls.

How can we say ball is tampered?

The umpires will find whether the ball is tampered. They shall make frequent and irregular inspections of the ball. If the umpires together agree that the deterioration in the condition of the ball is greater than is consistent with the use it has received then they will apply the Law 42.1 on this action as an unfair Play.

Any punishments for tampering?

The punishments will be differ on the possibility of finding the player(s) responsible for that action.

You can refer the ICC Playing conditions for test matches for the punishments on finding and not finding the player(s) responsible for tampering.

Can somebody list the names of players who was punished?

You can see this Wiki Link for some of the examples of the players who got punished for ball tampering. The most famous one is Shahid Afridi got banned for two matches for biting the ball.

  • 2
    Could you provide a link with evidence that ball tampering is used to increase the effectiveness of spin bowling variations (doosra etc)? – Philip Kendall Jul 17 '14 at 9:11
  • 1
    @PhilipKendall I've also never heard of ball tampering for any purpose other than assisting swing or seam bowling. – David Richerby Jul 17 '14 at 9:16
  • @PhilipKendall, you can see Afridi's statement that he did ball tampering to help his bowlers. – Azik Abdullah Jul 17 '14 at 9:24
  • 1
    Of course he did it to help his bowlers - but he says nothing which bowlers, so this provides no evidence ball tampering helps spin bowlers. – Philip Kendall Jul 17 '14 at 9:32
  • @PhilipKendall, Edited the answer. ball tampering will only help swing bowlers. I got that point after reading this post. – Azik Abdullah Jul 17 '14 at 9:42

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