The Trescothick revelation August 26, 2008

Tampering a response to batsmen-oriented laws - Chappell

Cricinfo staff

Simon Jones was one of the bowlers who troubled Australia with his swinging ball in the 2005 Ashes, perhaps thanks to Marcus Trescothick chewing Murray Mints © Getty Images

While dismissing Marcus Trescothick's revelation as a publicity gimmick, former Australia captain Ian Chappell, has said that attempts at altering the ball to induce assistance for the bowlers are a result of the laws of the game moving in favour of batsmen.

In his autobiography Coming Back to Me, Trescothick admitted he used mint-induced saliva to keep the shine on the ball during the 2005 Ashes. "I think it's pretty silly of Marcus Trescothick to come out and say it but obviously he's trying to sell some books," Chappell told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday. "I'll think you find that bowlers have been doing things to the ball since cocky was an egg.

"One of the reasons why that happens is the legislators always seem to come down on the side of the batsmen," he said. "We saw recently with the ludicrous situation with Kevin Pietersen changing hands and becoming a left-hand batsman, they came down on the side of the batsman.

"They never seem to come down in favour of the bowlers," Chappell said, while emphasising that swing bowling made Tests more interesting to watch.

"Swinging the ball is terribly important to the game of cricket," he said. "It is like legspin bowling; to bowl good leg spin you have to pitch the ball up, if you pitch the ball up somebody might whack it for four. They might also nick it and get caught at slip. "You've got to do anything you possibly can to keep swing bowling and legspin bowling in the game of cricket."

Chappell felt swing made contests more even between bat and ball. "The series in 2005 is certainly in my opinion the most memorable Test series that I've seen," he said. "So much of that had to do with the fact the ball was swinging. If the ball is swinging then the scores aren't going to be too big."

Terry Alderman, the former Australian bowler who had a wonderful record in the Ashes, wasn't too perturbed with Trescothick's revelation. "He has retired now and he has just written that to sell the book," Alderman told AFP. "I've never heard of that working. How much difference could a breath mint make?"