• Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Dubai

South Africa penalised for ball tampering

Firdose Moonda in Dubai
October 25, 2013

Law 42.3, which deals with changing the condition of the match ball

  • (d) 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, they shall consider that there has been a contravention of this Law. They shall:
  • (i) change the ball forthwith. It shall be for the umpires to decide on the replacement ball. It shall, in their opinion, have had wear comparable to that which the previous ball had received immediately prior to the contravention.
  • Additionally the bowler's end umpire shall,
  • (ii) award 5 penalty runs to the batting side.
  • (iii) inform the batsmen that the ball has been changed.
  • (iv) inform the captain of the fielding side that the reason for the action was the unfair interference with the ball.
  • (v) inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred.
  • (vi) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and team concerned.

South Africa were penalised five runs for ball tampering and the team will likely be the subject of a hearing after play on the third day of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai.

The ICC confirmed that the penalty and the change of ball after 30 overs was due to ball tampering. "As per 42.1 of the ICC playing conditions, the umpires replaced the ball and fined South Africa team five penalty runs for ball tampering," an ICC spokesperson said.

The incident took place at the start of the 31st over of Pakistan's innings, two overs after tea, when umpires Ian Gould and Rod Tucker called South African captain Graeme Smith for a chat. The fourth umpire, Shozab Raza, brought a box of balls onto the field and a new one was selected for use.

No individual player has been charged yet but television images showed one of the South African players rubbing the ball allegedly on the zipper of his trouser pocket. The umpires will decide whether to lay a charge at the close of play and that will determine if and when a hearing will take place.

South Africa were well in control of the Test, having taken a commanding 418-run first-innings lead, when the incident occurred.

The laws dealing with ball tampering were changed recently, coming into effect only from October 1. The last time a player was penalised for changing the condition of the ball was in 2010, when Shahid Afridi was banned from two T20s for biting the ball.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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