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Thread: Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

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    Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

    First let me say that I'm looking at this in the context of the global game, not just as an issue for Cricket Australia and secondly that many teams and individuals in the past have crossed the line in one way or another.

    I knew of course that there was a lot of bull and bluster around Ashes series but I hadn't realised that much the same happened with every Aussie series. Certainly not to the extent it seems to have happened. They've generated bad feeling across the globe and there is a certain amount of schadenfreude coming back. That's general. More specifically there now seem to be two schools of thought on this.

    One says Smith and Bancroft at least have had enough punishment because other sides have done as bad in the past with tampering with the ball. It certainly seems England sides in the past have used fingernails to roughen up or stipple one side of the ball, or trouser zips, etc etc and got away with it so let's not be hypocrites.

    The other says that's all well and good but it didn't involve bringing on a foreign object to affect the condition of the ball and we also have the case of Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif (iirc. There was also a third player involved whose name I forget) who were banned for life and 5 years respectively for spot fixing* which although corrupt isn't going to materially affect the course of the game whereas ball tampering probably will. This is a much worse offence, in the view of this school of thought.

    Both sides have points.

    I think we have to look at the root causes and address them. I think these come down to what is and is not acceptable conduct on the pitch and in the wider game; and the unusual status of the cricket ball in a ball sport.

    In a podcast I listened to one of the pundits made the point that the cricket ball is the only ball in sport that the players are allowed and expected to work on to affect its behaviour. As schoolboys we all polished one side of the ball as a matter of course. You don't do that in golf or tennis or bowls or football in any flavour, or at least not without major scandal (I seem to remember something about underinflated balls in various types of football...fnar fnar).

    My feeling is that we have the technical offences defined more or less ok but not the right penalties. I think that the Umpires should be allowed to impose a 50 run on the spot penalty if they catch it in the game, and replace the ball with one close to the condition the ball would have been without tampering. I think that would fairly rapidly cut out much of the problem.

    The other aspect could be addressed by having the idea of introducing a foreign influence into the game making an offence much worse, whether it be a piece of sandpaper or illegal betting money and that's where the bans come in. I think Smith and co have been punished according to the regs as they stand but think there is a case for changing the regs. Apart from anything else it looks racist when Asif and Butt get 5 years and life bans for arguably a less bad offence and definitely in the case of Asif, mitigating circumstances (he was 18 and from rural Pakistan, in his first series and led astray by the person he should have been able to rely on for guidance - his captain. Got 5 years)

    *Spot fixing is the practice of a gambler bribing probably a bowler and almost certainly the captain to bowl a particular sort of illegal delivery on eg, the 3rd ball of the 10th over of the game that will be called by the Umpires and go in the scorebook. The gambler meanwhile has placed a bet that on the 3rd ball of the 10th over the bowler will bowl an illegal delivery. The odds of it happening randomly are very low so the bet gets high odds, and these bets happen frequently and are usually entirely innocent, apparently. But if you've fixed the game you can win big, big money.
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    Re: Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

    It strikes me that with the speed & force that the ball is travelling through the air, is a slight shine or stippling on the ball really going to make any difference?

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    Re: Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

    Yes.
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    Re: Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

    New cricket ball:

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=17&ajaxhist=0

    Used cricket ball:

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=18&ajaxhist=0

    The only shot I've been able to find that shows the real effects of roughening and polishing on the ball. This picture illustrates how you get reverse swing if I've read it correctly.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=43&ajaxhist=0
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    Re: Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

    How long is the ball in the air for? With the impetus behind it, along with the mass of the ball itself, how long is it going to take before any noticeable changes are going to take effect?

    Then, there is the skill of hte bowler himself to be taken into consideration.

    Then there's the strength of the wind, which can also fluctuate from second to second.

    There are so many factors that can make changes. Personally I see the shine on one side of the ball as being the least of these.

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    Re: Some ramblings connected with the recent ball tampering scandal.

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