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Top 5 ball-tampering moments in cricket

Here are the top 5 ball-tampering moments in cricket history.

Cricket ball. Picture: Sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Representing your country at international level is an aspiration of all sportsmen and women, with many players doing whatever it takes to win a game for their country.

That desire can stretch the limits of fair play, with players taking the phrase “win at all costs” a little too far and resorting to illegal tactics to gain the upper hand.

With that in mind, here are the top 5 ball-tampering moments in cricket history.

5) South Africa vs India, 2001

Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was caught in a ball-tampering row during India’s tour of South Africa in 2001 in Port Elizabeth.

Television cameras picked up Tendulkar “digging” at the ball while trying to remove a blade of grass from the seam.

Match referee, Mark Denness took a dim view of the act and decided to ban Tendulkar for one match. Needless to say, that didn’t go down very well, with the Indian team accusing Denness and the ICC of racism.

Denness was removed as referee for the following game with the match being deemed as an unofficial Test match.

Tendulkar was subsequently cleared off all charges by the ICC.

WATCH: What you need to know about ball tampering

4) England vs South Africa, 1994

South Africa returned to Lord's for the first time since readmission, with the landmark Test being overshadowed by England captain Michael Atherton.

Atherton was caught on camera rubbing an unknown substance on the ball.

The skipper told match officials that he was using dirt to dry his hands and was in no way interfering with the condition of the ball.

The ICC weren’t as lenient as they are now and slapped Atherton with a hefty fine to the tune of R33,000.

3) South Africa vs Australia, 2016

The Proteas are no saints of the game when it comes to issues of ball-tampering, with the most recent incident taking place Down Under in 2016.

Stand-in captain at the time, Faf du Plesis, was charged by the ICC for altering the condition of the ball in the second Test against Australia in Hobart.

Du Plesis was caught on camera rubbing his finger on a mint in his mouth and then repeatedly rubbing the ball in an incident that became known as the “Mint-gate” saga.

Du Plesis was fined 100% of his match fee and given three demerit points by the ICC.

Australia opening batsman David Warner said at the time that he would be “very disappointed if one of our team members did that”.

How ironic.

Legal and illegal ways of changing the surface of a cricket ball. Picture: AFP

2) England vs Pakistan, 2006

The Oval was the scene of one of the rarest sights in cricket history, when Pakistan refused to return to the field after ball-tampering allegations, during the second session of day four against England.

Upon inspection, the standing umpires deemed that the ball had been altered and was subsequently replaced, with the hosts being awarded five penalty runs.

The visitors saw out the rest of the session before failing to return to the field after the tea break in protest of the allegations.

England became the first team in the history of Test cricket to win a game by forfeit, while the Pakistan Cricket Board had to pay a massive fine of R13 million.

1) Australia vs South Africa, 2018

Probably the most talked about and publicised of all these scandals is the one that Australia are currently embroiled in.

Opening batsman, Cameron Bancroft, was caught yellow-handed, on one of more than 25 cameras present at Newlands, rubbing the ball with a piece of yellow tape that had dirt attached to it.

The incident occurred during day three of the third Test between South Africa and Australia and immediately sparked conversation, especially after further footage revealed that Bancroft shoved the tape into the front of his trousers to conceal it from the umpires.

More controversy struck when captain, Steve Smith, admitted that it was a decision taken by the leadership group within the team to alter the condition of the ball.

Smith and vice-captain, David Warner, relinquished their roles for the remainder of the Test.

The ICC fined Smith 100% of his match fee and banned him for one Test, while Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee and given three demerit points.

Cricket Australia are currently conducting their own internal investigation into the incident.