Kirby accused of ball-tampering
Gloucestershire have become the second county in a week to be accused of ball-tampering, after it was alleged that their fast bowler, Steve Kirby, scraped the match ball on the surface of a concrete car-park during their seven-wicket victory over Glamorgan at the weekend.
On Friday, Surrey were penalised with five penalty runs and threatened with further sanctions from the ECB, after it was found that the quarter-seam had been lifted during Nottinghamshire's lengthy innings. Now it is Gloucestershire in the hot seat, after the umpires at Sophia Gardens, Nigel Cowley and John Hampshire, included these new allegations in their report.
The alleged incident occurred on Sunday, the third day of the match, when Kirby went to retrieve the ball from the car-park after David Hemp had struck a six. Soon afterwards, John Derrick, Glamorgan's coach, strode onto the pitch to complain about the alteration of the ball's condition, although the umpires were unable to determine whether the scuffing had been caused by anything other than the initial bounce of the ball.
Gloucestershire's captain, Chris Taylor, was satisfied that nothing untoward had taken place, but his opposite number, Robert Croft, was supportive of his coach. "I know [his] integrity and the way he has conducted himself since taking over at Glamorgan," said Croft. "For him to do that he obviously saw something that incensed him."
In an ill-tempered match, Kirby and Alex Wharf were both spoken to by the umpires for separate incidents, as Glamorgan slumped to their third consecutive defeat - their worst start to a county season since 1922.