From Vaseline to zips: Five ball-tampering scandals
South African captain Faf du Plessis has been found guilty of ball-tampering after a footage showed him sucking a mint and then using the sugary saliva to help shine the ball.
Here are five previous occasions when players were caught out altering the condition of the ball:
John Lever, 1977
In the first well-known ball-tampering case, England bowler Lever was accused of deliberately rubbing Vaseline petroleum jelly on the ball during the third Test against India in Chennai. On day three in hot conditions, the fast-medium left-armer used Vaseline to stop sweat running into his eyes. He then rubbed sweat from his brow onto the ball. India’s captain, Bishan Bedi, lodged a complaint and laboratory analysis found Vaseline on the ball. No charges were brought but Lever was pilloried by Indian media and home fans.
Michael Atherton, 1994
TV footage caught the England captain rubbing dirt from his pocket on the ball during a Test against South Africa at Lord’s. Atherton, who claimed there was ambiguity in the rules about whether this was an offence or not, was fined £2,000 in a case which prompted a furore in the British media and calls for him to quit.
Sachin Tendulkar, 2001
Match referee Mike Denness gave the Indian legend a suspended one-match ban when, while bowling against South Africa in Port Elizabeth, he was seen working the seam of the ball with his thumb and forefinger. It was one of six punishments handed out to India’s team in a row which triggered a furious backlash by Indian media and cricket authorities, who threatened to call off the tour. The ICC eventually overturned Tendulkar’s ban.
Rahul Dravid, 2004
India’s vice-captain was fined 50 percent of his match fee for rubbing a throat lozenge on the ball during their one-day victory over Zimbabwe in Brisbane. India’s coach, John Wright, and captain, Sourav Ganguly, insisted the incident was accidental.
Faf du Plessis, 2013
Du Plessis pleaded guilty and was fined 50 percent of his match fee for scuffing the ball on the zip of his trousers during a Test against Pakistan. South Africa said they didn’t challenge the charge because they feared a stronger punishment, and that contact with the zip was inadvertent as du Plessis tried to dry the ball.