The Trescothick revelation

'It's illegal, isn't it?'

Nagraj Gollapudi

August 25, 2008

Comments: 53 | Text size: A | A

Marcus Trescothick may be lucky after all as the laws of the game are not precise about ball tampering © Getty Images

Marcus Trescothick's admission that he used mint-induced saliva to keep the shine on the ball during the 2005 Ashes might give his autobiography Coming Back To Me the perfect launch, but it has left him and his Ashes-winning team open to the charge of ball tampering.

Trescothick, who was England's official ball-shiner during the series admitted that he had used Murray Mints to produce a saliva which, "when applied to the ball for cleaning purposes, enabled it to keep its shine for longer and therefore its swing'.'

Damien Fleming, the former Australia swing bowler, is of the opinion that Trescothick's strategy was against the laws of the game. "It is some form of ball tampering, it is not about natural deterioration," he said. "It is illegal, isn't it?"

Fleming told Cricinfo that though he was happy to be a bit more naive and thought it was good bowling, he always felt something was amiss to see the ball reverse-swing in England. "I loved the wrist release of Flintoff, Jones and Harmison, but always felt something was going on as the ball was reversing by the 40th over, especially on a grassy pitches," Fleming said. "You're used to seeing the ball reverse early on the much rougher tracks in the subcontinent where the hard surface makes the ball abrasive easily."

Angus Fraser, the former England medium pace bowler who covered the series for the Independent, wouldn't go as far as to deem the practice illegal, but he believed the disclosure has exposed the hypocrisy that has existed over ball tampering.

According to Fraser, who has been part of the ICC's technical committee, the tactics Trescothick employed to shine the ball has been always popular on the county circuit. "I don't know if it is illegal," he said.

"To me it is a total hypocrisy on what is deemed to be ball tampering. When Pakistan were accused of ball tampering it was built into something that was abhorrent. Ball tampering is ball tampering whether you scratch the ball or whether you deliberately put in sugary saliva on it to aid its shine so I don't see any difference between one and the either.

"There are huge inconsistencies for one side to complain about the other scratching the ball when they are deliberately sucking sugary sweets to shine the ball," he said.

Top Curve
What Trescothick wrote
  • "I was firmly established as the man in charge of looking after the ball when we were fielding. It was my job to keep the shine on the new ball for as long as possible with a bit of spit and a lot of polish.
  • And through trial and error I finally settled on the best type of spit for the task at hand. It had been common knowledge in county cricket for some time that certain sweets produced saliva which when applied to the ball for cleaning purposes enabled it to keep its shine for longer and therefore its swing.
  • As with most of the great scientific discoveries, this one happened quite by accident.
  • While at Warwickshire, Dermot Reeve noticed that his bowlers somehow had the ability to keep the ball swinging far longer than any team they faced.
  • The problem was no one knew why.
  • He realised the player in charge of polishing and keeping the ball clean was his top-order batsman Asif Din and what he did to keep his concentration levels up was chewing extra strong mints.
  • It took a while for word to get around the circuit but once it did the sales of sweets near the county grounds of England went through the roof.
  • I tried Asif¹s confection of choice but couldn¹t get on with them. Too dry. So I had a go at Murray Mints and found they worked a treat.
  • Trouble was, even allowing for trying to keep one going as long as possible. I still used to get through about 15 a day and the taste soon palled.
  • Once Phil Neale came on board as our operations manager it was one of his jobs to make sure the dressing-room was fully stocked at all times.
  • We even tried taking them on tour a couple of times until we realised that they didn¹t work as well on the Kookaburra balls used overseas as the Dukes we used back home."
Bottom Curve

Peter Willey, former England batsman and ex-ICC umpire, who still officiates at county games, has seen bowlers using all sorts of methods on the ball. He offers an interesting analogy to Trescothick's mint. "People use suntan oil, lip salve, scruff the ball with finger and thumbs until they get caught. If you apply suntan oil on you forehead or face or arms and rub the sweat on your body (which is mixed with suntan oil) and then rub the ball what is the difference?"

While Willey believed Trescothick didn't violate the spirit of the game, Fraser wanted to look at the issue from another angle. "It is impossible to police," he said. "If a batsman edges the ball and stands his ground and no-one says a word, that is part of the game. And if a bowler adds sugary saliva on the ball, the spirit of the game is called into question. There should be some leniency about what the bowler can do to the ball. You don't want a cricket ball tested at the end of day for sugar, for sun cream, for lip gel, for finger nails and whatever else you want to try and put on it."

Michael Kasprowicz, who was a central performer in the second Test of that Ashes series, as the batsman who was dismissed caught-behind to Flintoff at Edgbaston, a decision which sealed Australia's heartbreaking two-run loss, said he was not bitter about Trescothick's admission.

"I actually wish Marcus put a bit more mint on the ball so it deflected further off my glove," he said. "We're talking about sugar coating using mints. There are a lot more major issues in the game at the moment to worry about."

Troy Cooley was the England bowling coach at the time and his reverse-swing techniques helped clinch the series. He denied having any clue about the practice.

"I had no knowledge of it and I certainly wouldn't recommend anything like that," Cooley told the Daily Telegraph. "I don't know if it would even work. I would never cheat in the game. Bowlers have used sweat and polish over the years to shine the ball. There is an old wives' tale from past years that sunscreen and Brylcreem helps the ball swing, but I don't know about that."

Will players be banned from applying suntan, or lip salve, and leave them at risk from the damaging rays of the sun? © AFP

According to Law 42.3(a)(i) any fielder "may polish the ball provided that no artificial substance is used ..." In Trescothick's case, the artificial substance was the mint which he didn't use directly but the mint induced the saliva which he used as an aid to shine the ball.

But does sucking a mint and applying the saliva amount to the application of an artificial substance? The ICC's verdict was "using artificial measures to shine the ball is illegal", but they would not "outlaw sucking sweets''. As of now, the ICC has said it will not interfere. "It depends on the evidence and circumstances, so if something is brought to our attention it would be dealt with," an ICC spokesperson told BBC.

The ECB have decided not to comment on the issue for the moment. "We have only seen reports of this admission," an ECB spokesperson said.

Allan Border, the former Australia captain, said Trescothick's announcement was not "earth-shattering news". "Over the last century or so bowlers have been fiddling around with balls using all sorts of stuff," Border said in the Australian.

Merv Hughes, an Australia selector, said the incident happened a long time ago so "it's no good worrying about it". "If he's come out and said that he's used it, yes, it's unethical," Hughes told the Age. "Yes, he got away with it, good luck to him. You can't change the result of the Test series."

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Posted by timmyc1983 on (August 27, 2008, 13:41 GMT)

I think people get off the topic very easily. I don't think the race card has any place in this discussion. I agree however, that the issue is between England, Australia and the ICC. But I also agree that it was 3 years ago and to turn around a series or even a match after that time, and based on the evidence given, would be a little crazy. However I don't agree with the comparisons to batsmen not walking when they know they've knicked. I tend to think that things go in round abouts in cricket and maybe the next innings or the next match or even the next series they may be given out when they're not one way or another. But I'm not sure that you could not say the same about this incident. And I would put this issue in the same category as sledging; too hard to properly police given the immensity of the tests that would have to be utilized, and the laws seem to be so fuzzy about exactly what ball tampering is. Let's hope for Marcus' sake that he isn't planning a 2009 Ashes return...

Posted by essel1 on (August 27, 2008, 8:13 GMT)

I dont agree with Mr. Fireballz comment, and with all due respect to him , ball tampering has no statue of limitations. If an asian admitted to ball tampering we would have never heard the end of it but he talks of racial bias being a figment of our imagination. Inspite of Murli being cleared by the ICC and the lab results many australians believe he is still chucking, but the same Australians dont think Brett Lee chucks because he has been cleared by the Lab results. The Aussie has a great cricketing history, and a great cricket team , but that does not exonerate their on field behavior or off field for that matter.

Posted by fairdinkum on (August 27, 2008, 3:53 GMT)

To AsherCA you should know that 5 out of 10 full voting members of the ICC (International Cheaters Corporation) are the voting bloc of India, Pakistan,Sri Lanka,Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Whilst Zimbabwe is not Asian, it votes only as India votes (don't get me started on them), so explain how the ICC can make biased, racist decisions that favour the 'white' member countries, although the West Indies aren't white I suppose. Just recently, the ICC reversed the result of a Test match for the first time in history, in favour of Pakistan. In addition, ICC management is drawn from all full member test playing countries. The nub of the issue is the 'victim' mentality shown by your comments. Remember that Australia was the loser in the test series in question, and only that country should have the right of appeal, not you.

Posted by Fireballz on (August 27, 2008, 3:38 GMT)

To all the pakistanis whinging about racial bias (as per usual) the reason that everyone is dismissing this articale as unimportant is because the incident occured 3 years ago. The Ashes has been regained from an Australian point of view since then and 2005 was a great series to watch for both sides. It was illegal and if it had become apparent at the time I'm 100% sure that much more would have been made of it. As for the Darrell Hair vs Pakistan incident - LET IT GO! The ICC even changed the result of the game after years of complaining and moaning so why everybody still brings that up 2 years on when it has nothing to do with the subject of this article is beyond me. And what has any of this got to do with Murali and Michael Phelps?!?!? Trescothick did do something illegal and that is wrong but 3 years later nobody cares, which is precisely why he revealed it now and not in october 2005.

Posted by fairdinkum on (August 27, 2008, 3:13 GMT)

Merv Hughes is wrong; you can change the result of a test(England vd Pakistan), but you need the support of the BCCI to achieve it.

Posted by David_Brent on (August 27, 2008, 2:37 GMT)

laggan, your comment "They cheat and get away with it because authorities treat white teams with kid gloves" is surely a joke. Right?

If this revelation was about a series that England played and (just) won against India or Pakistan you lot would be threatening a war and demanding that the result of the series was reversed!

And, knowing the pathetically limp-wristed ICC, you'd probably get your wish!!

Why do some people always have to go the race angle, and what has this got to do with India or Pakistan anyway?

I thought this was an Ashes series between England and Australia...

Posted by pacemeister on (August 26, 2008, 23:44 GMT)

Come on people lets get real about this. When I was a junior cricketer, and that was a very long time ago, I was a quick bowler, fortuante to represent his country at a lower level. And in my time I've worked with many a professional of the old school where ball tampering has been going on for as long as a cricket ball existed. It's part of the game and I was taught how to do it by some very respected West Indian,Pakistani, Australian, English and South African players whom I played with and against. The really funny side about it was that it made bugger all difference to the physics (and that's what my first degree was in) as if you couldn't make the ball pitch in the right place with the right seam angle at the right pace then the batsman would win every time. And that's why I love the game with a passion that still burns bright so if Marcus wants to cleanse his soul that's okay. In the grand scheme que sera sera, so get a life,live with it and stop moaning.

Posted by RohanKapoor on (August 26, 2008, 23:43 GMT)

Well its no wonder why Marcus Trescothick's marriage was in limbo - it probably had to with the 15 mint a day chewing !!!!

Posted by StJohn on (August 26, 2008, 18:47 GMT)

Interesting article & subject. As the law is framed, it doesn't seem illegal to me: saliva is not an artificial substance and that the chemical composition of saliva may alter if you suck mints doesn't transform saliva into an artificial substance. As the article points out, even if it were illegal, it would be impossible to police - you'd basically have to stop players using sweat or spit to polish the ball (or ban sun cream, hair gel, lip balm, chewing gum & sweets). Is it against the spirit of the game though? Somehow it seems a bit naughty or cheeky to me, but it is ethically less offensive than the batsman who knows he hit the ball but refuses to walk & it is different to using an implement or an articifial substance directly on the ball. Expect sales of Murray Mints to increase further! Especially amongst a certain few Australians who will be doing a lot of bowling with the Duke ball next summer. I'll try to make more use of them myself next year - thanks for the tip!

Posted by MKPillai on (August 26, 2008, 18:15 GMT)

If a person admits to a murder 50 years after he commits it, he still will be made responsible and can be trialed for the murder. Like wise Trescothick should be tried. Not the English team... as they only made Trescothick be responsible for shinning the ball and no body asked him to do "the murray mint formula" Trescothick should also be banned from playing any form of cricket unless he can prove his innocence. This way at least he can repent for his selfish decision to ditch the team without a warning in the very last minutes-TWICE and also for a few publicity bucks, let his country and the brave team mates who battled the ASHES victory with all their heart, down... SHAME ON YOU Trescothick!

Posted by W_indian on (August 26, 2008, 17:53 GMT)

For me it is ball tampering, no two ways about it and what being used. Cricket today is pure of cheating and one-sided. I remembered Dravid scenario quite clearly and once it goes for one it must go for all, in ECB they always like to take a back seat or stay silent while ICC turn a blind eye about the hold situation. Was KP switching position legal? Was the accident with NZ batsman and Eng. Bowler collusion ended up in a run out was fair play? Was it in the interest of cricketing sports? Pakistan was call for ball tempering, then later fine for refusing to take the field,etc. come on ICC open your eyes lets pay the game fair please.

Posted by laggan on (August 26, 2008, 17:52 GMT)

This is nothing new. They cheat and get away with it because authorities treat white teams with kid gloves.There is video evidence of a former captain of the English team using dust from his pants to roughen the ball getting ready for spinners, but no authority did anything about it. On the field umpires ignore wrong doings and cheating by these teams because they know that if they act they will be black listed. Let us hope that one day people with integrity and backbone will come in to positions with authority.

Posted by Homosapien on (August 26, 2008, 17:44 GMT)

I don't want to appear to be advocating any racial view of this situation. Per my earlier comment, my ONLY intent here is to focus people's attention on the British press.

WHY is there NO article on-line at the Telegraph, Independent, BBC or The Guardian about Tresco's admission of an ILLEGAL action???

I dont ask that they beat down upon an already fragile person, but surely the British public ought to know about his admission? Can such a press be trusted to objectively deliver news of their own country's transgressions? Could their cover-up be symptomatic of a larger lack of journalistic integrity that might include biased coverage of the war on terror? Would public opinion in the UK have been different if the British Press was a little more objective?

I do not know the answers to these questions, but I am certainly going to on my guard.

Posted by Shan_Karthic on (August 26, 2008, 17:29 GMT)

I agree that this kind of thing should be allowed if it brings a better balance between bat and ball. But then everyone should be allowed to do it. Some should not be treated as cheats when others have been doing this with impunity.

Duncan Fletcher and team should hang their heads in shame. Not for this. But for the Oval fiasco. Bloody hypocrites. If they can tamper with the ball, why not the Pakistanis? Forget about the legalese. If you get/did something artificial on the ball to affect its behaviour, what/how you did it should not matter.

To those who cry that Asians are always claiming racial discrimination - we do because we are always penalized for doing what other nations have been doing for long. If that is not discrimination, then what is? If it is OK for Marcus to tamper with the ball, so it should be for Rahul.

Phelps is a hero for taking good advantage of his physique but Murali is a pariah? Both are great sportsmen and should be admired, not just one.

Posted by sadman61 on (August 26, 2008, 16:59 GMT)

Interesting views, I've only got one question. If this were a side from the subcontinent, what would happen? I'm sure there would be calls for bans and dare i say it, possibly a reversal of results?

Posted by Reddypv on (August 26, 2008, 15:45 GMT)

It is surprising that nobody remembers or recalls about the incidents involving zaheer Khan of India and Jelly beans used by England players in the India/England 2007-series. After all it seems English players are using this technique for quite some time. As far as it legal/or illegal, it is in my view that if scratching the ball with finger nails or bottle caps is illegal, then I am afraid that applying foreign substance to get reverse swing out of the ball is also illegal and English players also can be termed as cheats as the Pakistanis were termed as cheats for ball tampering to get reverse swing in the past. It is surprising that many well known players like Allan Border, Merv hughes, Kasprowicz take it lightly. I wonder how much furore this would have raised this had been done by a Pakistani player. It is difficult to believe that the England bowling coach was unaware of this ball tampering. ICC can certainly outlaw the application of the saliva if not the sucking mints.

Posted by nik_cricinfo on (August 26, 2008, 15:28 GMT)

To say that England won the Ashes only due to what Trescothick has disclosed in his book would not be fair. Having said that, what Trescothick did was illegal and should be held against him. Cheating is cheating whether on Earth or on Mars.

Posted by crpcarrot on (August 26, 2008, 14:33 GMT)

to me the issue is not if its illegal or not, obviouly it's been happening a long time. the fact is one player Dravid was fined for the same action but the ECB and ICC have no comment when an eglish team does it. maybe an apology and return of dravids fine is needed. plus the ecb apologising to PCB for calling them cheats. its not racist to support the country of your birth in sport is natinal pride theres a difference. anyone who says there is no hypocrisy in the ICC is just fooling himself. I'm Sri Lankan

Posted by Mohsin_Irshad on (August 26, 2008, 13:54 GMT)

Shinning the ball with illegal means or scratching it with nails are both for the same purpose. I dont know why some of the posters here taking this thing lightly , if such practice is common in county cricket and Pura Cup then your boards should do something about it. But all should thank Trescothick , he opened the eyes of Media and told everyone how the series was won by Brits. .... Now some newspaper should label is as "Champions were Cheats "

Posted by NeilCameron on (August 26, 2008, 13:17 GMT)

To be honest I don't find this earth shattering news. Moreover, in the last 20 years conditions have so improved so much for batsmen that bowlers just become necessary cogs in the machine to score lots of runs rather than being equal in stature to them.

There's no doubt that the problem of applying substances other than untainted saliva to the ball is almost impossible to police. From what I can tell, Trescothick merely applied his minty saliva to the ball rather than rubbing an actual mint over the surface. What's to stop some player shining the ball after drinking some Gatorade or ever getting some of it stuck on his fingers? What if a player has a cold and manages to apply liberal amounts of his own nasal juices to the ball? The mind boggles with all sorts of possibilities.

At the moment I would say that this practice is neither completely legal nor completely illegal.

And, for the record, such a practice did not hand England the Ashes in 2005. A great team playing well did that.

Posted by ruby_alaska on (August 26, 2008, 13:13 GMT)

Let the bowlers do what they like with the ball. Rub it in the dirt, put suntan on it, whatever. With heavier bats and shorter boundaries, they need some help

Posted by StaalBurgher on (August 26, 2008, 12:35 GMT)

I am so sick of hearing about racism complaints from certain posters. As if you guys have model societies regarding human rights and equal opportunity for all. I'm not English, however I have to admit hypocrisy is there for sure but England has by far the most integrated society you'll find. Despite that kids born of Asian expat parents often support Asian teams instead of England. Not all mind you, but still quite a few Why is that? Nothing to do with race? I wonder whether I would get hired if I moved to India and tried to get a blue-collar job. Caste system anyone? Or lets ask Andrew Symonds?

Posted by Rehan.aziz on (August 26, 2008, 12:18 GMT)

Although I think that such a minor thing such as using mints to allegedly help shine the ball should not be considered as ball tampering. I am suprised that England were the ones to accuse Pakistan of tampering with the ball in that famous Test.

I think Marcus is just trying to play cute. He has retired & no longer in the lime light and thus is it pure hypocrisy on his part to defame England for their famous Ashes win.

I cant imagine ICC taking any action on this issue but I wonder would the sames rule apply if an Asian country had done the same.

Posted by Vinshada on (August 26, 2008, 12:12 GMT)

Didn't Rahul Dravid get fined for sucking cough drops and then polishing the ball? If it was bad enough to get fined, then it's obviously illegal in my book.

Posted by TMS8137 on (August 26, 2008, 12:03 GMT)

I remember an incident when Rahul dravid was accused of ball tampering in a pretty similar method. Would someone please tell me what the difference between this incident and the Trescothicks actions are?

Posted by jawadpeshouri on (August 26, 2008, 11:56 GMT)

Whenever Waqar and Wasim used to rip through the England batting line up with reverse wing, next day the headlines in the British newspapers were "Champs or Cheats". And when Simon Jones did some reverse swing he was praised as naturally talented. But in reality he was cheating as admitted by his own teammate. Now this biased media is going to cover this up by accusing Trescothick for making this up to sell his book.

Posted by Teece on (August 26, 2008, 11:37 GMT)

There's cheating and there's cheating. If players are spitting sweets, potions and fossil fuels on the ball, or scratching it up to make it loop around, it ain't in the same league as steroids or match-fixing. There's actually a sort of rogueish charm about it. I'm an Aussie, by the way - I hate that these forums now compell us to contextualise our comments by saying where we're from. The posters who claim some mutual admiration society between Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and the English - sorry, I just had to wipe away some tears. God, my ribs hurt. Just give me a minute. I'm not advocating open slobber, but maybe we can set new standards for ball deterioration and give the bowlers something for once. And not appoint passive aggressive umpires or boorish skippers.

Posted by amin.bintory on (August 26, 2008, 11:33 GMT)

This is a retired cricketer's gimmick to propogate his book. Nothing else. It's amazing how these statements turn into a fireball. Cricket right now needs other issues to be addressed urgently rather than some cricketer's revelations that Murray Mints being responsible for an Ashes victory.

Posted by RayhanHaider on (August 26, 2008, 11:28 GMT)

Duncan Fletcher very cleverly accused Pakistan of ball tampering at the oval by looking through his binoculars. He was the man who bought it to everyones attention that pakistan were ball tampering hence cheating! Even though it was only Daryl Haire who was made to like a villian Duncan was also indirectly calling pakistan cheats! And now we have his Ashes winning team admiting to cheating during the ashes! At the end of the day rules are rules! and England cheated! I suppose it was the only way to win the ashes! As Navjot Singh Sidhu would probably say: "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at other people!"

Posted by John-Price on (August 26, 2008, 11:12 GMT)

This is not new. I recall an incident in one match (I think in the Ashes series, but maybe before) when Trescothick dived for the ball and spilled a load of sweets out of his pocket." Ah", said commentator Ritchie Benaud "he is the mint man" - and then proceeded to explain the practice in full. How come Benaud knew, and was able to share this knowledge with the viewing public, and yet Troy Cooley and so many others were in blissful ignorance? Not entirely plausible is it?

Posted by amin4577 on (August 26, 2008, 10:32 GMT)

I find the whole issue very interesting.This might give marcus a perfect launch for his autobiography but it has left him and his Ashes team members open to the charge of ball tempering and someone rightly said when Pakistan cricket team were scratching the ball the whole issue was blown out of proportion but now when the Englishmen confessed he did use means of tempering the ball it isnt even labelled as illlegal...... , Khurram Amin

Posted by r1m2 on (August 26, 2008, 10:20 GMT)

I agree with Gus. There's a bit of hypocrisy going on at the moment. I am sure if one of the Pakistani guys admitted to this, ICC would've appointed Chris Broad to look into the matter right away and inflict bans and fines ASAP. That's the double standard that does cricket no favours. I think it's weird to make a fuss of a cricketer chewing mints, and unless it's steroid laced, whatever presumed effects it may have on the ball being prepped. Continuing on this path could get us into the absurdity of arguing about whose saliva is sweeter or most effective at preparing the ball. The big picture is bowlers need help and the should be able to "rub" anything on the ball that is part of their body, could be applied to their body (including Gatorade, if drowning the ball in G helps). But it should be illegal to use anything else from this earth dirt/grass/anything else. The small picture here is as kollol mentioned. It is a marketing stunt to sell Tresco's book, and a very good job at that!

Posted by Wicket_Maiden on (August 26, 2008, 10:16 GMT)

To The Guru, the comment was made by DAMIEN Fleming of AUSTRALIA, not any Fleming that played for New Zealand.

Posted by essel1 on (August 26, 2008, 10:03 GMT)

The only persons to be blamed for this is the stupid ICC,,their rules are open to interpretations and that should be clarified,,,its like the lbw law, every umpire interprets it differently,,why do they leave grey areas in the rules is beyond my understanding....i know im going off the tangent here, but when darrel hair the umpire in the infamous Oval test between Pakistan and England was allowed to penalize Pakistan without having to show proof, then my friends that was the day when the ICC should have sat down and made the rules clear...cheers (I am a proud Pakistani, and may be biased)...

Posted by The Guru on (August 26, 2008, 9:55 GMT)

Come on Mr Fleming I remember watching NZ play and the ball was always passed to Mr Twose who habitually chewed wine gums or the like. Chewing gum and sweats make a person salivate which is then applied to the ball, the only way to stop this type of ball tampering is to not allow the shining of the ball at all do we really want to stop that? Is this really ball tampering or is it ball maintenance? History shows that there has always been a form of tampering, some more under handed than this, fingernails, teeth, bottle caps, studs etc., get real people it's not like he was drinking polish before the game.

Posted by usha on (August 26, 2008, 9:44 GMT)

I think the ICC should split, we don't want to play with sledgers and cheaters or yobs and snobs (need I clarify who's who? whatever you prefer). Keep them out. They can play the Ashes series all day long for 12 months of the year between England and Australia. They suit each other and perhaps deserve each other.

Meanwhile the rest of the nations can play some serious cricket, without rascism or cheating.

Posted by FatirMalik on (August 26, 2008, 8:59 GMT)

Perhaps the rules of the game need to be clarified: All forms of ball-tampering are allowed as long as: 1)It is done using some form of sophistication (using spearmints, creams etc.) rather than using primitive methods (scratching the ball, picking the seam etc.) 2) You are not caught doing it. Admission of ball-tampering after the event is acceptable and may even be commended. and, above all: 3) You are playing for an elite list of teams which at the time of writing does not include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc. Cricket is a gentleman's game and these teams have not yet been admitted to the gentlemen's club.

Of course, the Australians are keeping fairly calm about the Trecothick admissions only because they themselves were probably tampering with the ball (but less succesfully) !!!!

Posted by the_giblet on (August 26, 2008, 8:56 GMT)

I get a little weary at all the stereotyping that's going on with regards to the "Western" cricketing nations and their supposed attitudes (seen particularly in "Mallick"'s post)...I am a NZer, and we are not automatically more tolerant of English players doing this (than cricketers from Asia). I agree with Fleming - Trescothick's actions amount to cheating - and like others I am surprised that there has not been more made out of it. I guess the fact remains that it is almost impossible to monitor on the field, which is unfortunate. But please, people, enough of the insinuations that those of us from Aus/NZ/Eng/SA etc have double standards regarding these issues, and are just waiting for Asian cricketers to slip up so we can badmouth them - I've no doubt these sorts of bigots do exist, but we're not all like that. (Besides, who hates the aussies more than us?)

Posted by _Australian_ on (August 26, 2008, 8:41 GMT)

This just detracts from what was an excellent series and tarnishes it. Most people were aware that lollies were and are being used but to come out and admit it to sell books just cheapens the game. I am now not going to buy the book and suggest people consider doing the same. Mind you the book wont be exactly filling the shelves here in Australia. Marcus Trescothick is hardly a superstar of the game. Hence his desire to use this tactic to sell some books. Marcus don't bite the hand that feeds you! I am surprised the English supporters even give you the time of day considering you have deserted the side with your fragile mind and now are attacking their over talked about 05 series of joy! Also I find it difficult to imagine that lolly coated saliva does much more to the ball than sweat mixed with sunscreen which can't be avoided. Apart from being an intentional act I doubt much can be done to police it.

Posted by MightyHammer on (August 26, 2008, 7:36 GMT)

AsherCA - face the facts, Pakistan were caught ball tempering, and punished. They haven't been punished for all the times they were ball tampering but not caught. The ICC can't do anything about something that may or may not have been illegal and happened 3 years ago by a player since retired playing for a captain since retired. I think they're better off spending their time focusing on major issues like drugs in the sport.

Posted by Fibbo on (August 26, 2008, 7:35 GMT)

I am unsure where the previous poster is coming from regarding 'racial discrimination and refunds'. Firstly, Trez is not accused of anything, he has made a so called sensational admission to promote an end of career book. I'm equally disappointed in him for doing it (the ball tampering) and now for using it to make money. Most of us who have played enough league cricket will be aware of many methods to gain (sometimes phantom) benefits. From what I've seen, extra shine on the ball has never improved a poor swing bowler into someone decimating the opposition. It's still wrong and has cast a feint shadow over what was a great Ashes series. With bowlers struggling to dominate worldwide, there may come a time when all the laws require are that the ball remains spherical and without scars. Poor form Banger.

Posted by mallick on (August 26, 2008, 6:55 GMT)

Well, all i can say is that if GOD forbid, it was a Pakistani player admitting to the fact that he used 'mints' to shine the ball, Australians, Brits, NZL'anders and SAF'ricans, all their players, coaches, everyone related to cricket there, would have created a huge, HUGE, issue out of it. but as its a Brit admitting to the fact, its just taken lightly. Talk about fairness!

Posted by Mohsin_Irshad on (August 26, 2008, 6:37 GMT)

When Pakistanis were scratching the ball it was ball tempering and the whole issue was blown out of proportion but now when the English men confessed he did use means for tempering the ball this isnt even labeled as "illegal". Why such discrimination ? We dont see any articles in newspapers as they wrote against Pakistanis. Should we call it some kind of Racism on the part of media and ICC. .....I still remember Mike Atherton tempering the ball on the cricket field but that is hardly referred in any article against ball tempering. .......

Posted by robheinen on (August 26, 2008, 6:33 GMT)

Law 42 (Fair and unfair play)

b) It is unfair for anyone to rub the ball on the ground for any reason, interfere with any of the seams or the surface of the ball, use any implement, or [b]take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball[/b], except as permitted in (a) above.

It's not law 42a that needs to be applied to this situation, but 42b - quoted above. The mints were bought, supplied and used for the purpose of altering the condition of the ball, which is a clear transgression of the law quoted above.

Posted by JaySarkar on (August 26, 2008, 6:15 GMT)

We live in funny times.If a man 'turns' honest 3 years down the line and clears his conscience, then one ought to laud that.Its impossible to police all of this, hence one ought to make ball tampering legal. Much like legalising cannabis if you cant police it.Batsmen have all the protection, big bats,new shots, and bowlers are limited in terms of no, wides, one bouncer per over, return crease, and so on.Let us bring parity and agree to 'legal' substances that can be used to alter the shine and produce standardised substances such as sugar solutions (rather than spittle), a scratcher rather than bottle openers, etc. But let us change the ball after every 60 overs.Another thing - rather than lambasting those who spill the beans which will drive others underground, let us appreciate their honesty for they illumine our minds about the state of play.Better late than never. Trescothick has been refreshing - first admitting to depression and now cheating. The man shines a mirror to all of us

Posted by syed_kollol on (August 26, 2008, 6:14 GMT)

its basically is a marketing promotion technique used by trescothick. it seems , he is successful on this occassion.

good luck marc

Posted by masks on (August 26, 2008, 6:12 GMT)

My comment is directed to AsherCA.What on earth has India to do with all this?.Why should the ICC apologize to India and refund all fines levied on it's players etc. I am Indian and have no clue as to what your post has to do with anything.Keep things in perspective.This sort of chest thumping patriotism is not called for in the least,it is repulsive and stupid.Reading your post is the equivalent of listening to Arun Lal's commentary.He so forgets the word'unbiased'that he is an embarassment.Like the sickening Gavaskar on Tendulkar,so too AsherCA on patriotism and the concept of racism.

Posted by turbunator123 on (August 26, 2008, 6:03 GMT)

This is still a very hypocrytic world. I can't believe the western countries think of themselves. I have lived in US and now in Europe for last 8 years and in no way are they better than us indians. So when Rahul Dravid did the same thing back in 2004 that was ball tampering and the whole cricketing world was all over indian players.

And now when an english man admits in open public that he tampered with the ball to increase the sale of his book the same people are saying that it in not illegal.

You got to be kidding me. This is total BS.

Posted by Homosapien on (August 26, 2008, 5:53 GMT)

Dravid was fined for cheating when he applied a lozenge to a ball - something he claimed was an accident. I recall the incident made all the English and Australian newspapers. There was commentary about how the "honorable" Dravid had been shown to be a cheat after all.

Whether you apply a sweet to a ball by hand or by mouth, the end result is exactly the same. And both are cheating.

For those who want to see irrefutable evidence of the double standards of the English press, go search for ANY article on either of the following websites;

That there is no article slamming the cheating of the English team is not surprising. That there is no article, PERIOD, about his admission is STUNNING! The muzzling of the press is akin to some tin-pot dictatorship.

Posted by AroonLobo on (August 26, 2008, 5:51 GMT)

When Rahul Dravid in Australia was penalised, he had cough drops in his mouth for a cold and a hue and cry was made over ball tampering. What is the difference now? Cheats are cheats and hypocrisy is hypoccrisy. When the English admit to ball tampering it is condoned. When Asian nations do exactly the same intenionally or unintentionally why such a hue and cry? Either penalise England or apologise to the other players penalised - Inzamam and the infamous Test in England, Rahul Dravid and all the others.

Posted by JJDW on (August 26, 2008, 5:46 GMT)

It is just a case of having nothing better to write about. In a child-like boast "Yeah.... we did this and that and didn't get caught." Mr. Hughes comments are very true..."yes, it's unethical"...."yes, he got away with it..." I feel he has let himself, his team mates and ultimately his country down, by exposing a practice not totally legal. Another ex-test player, another book revealing 'secrets'. The world of literature has so much more to offer.

Posted by AsherCA on (August 26, 2008, 5:10 GMT)

Going by ICC's written laws - England are guilty of ball-tampering, as admitted by English Cricketer who did it himself.

It is for ICC to stand up & show the world that penalties documented in its code of conduct violation apply to all members including England, Australia, WI & SA, not just India & Pakistan.

We will watch what ICC does to the accused cricketer & his on-field captain.

If ICC & its management look for & find some technical grounds to excuse this documented ball-tampering by England, India & Pakistan should demand the below minimum action from ICC -

1. Formal apology for racial discrimination against them by ICC management. 2. Refund of all penalties collected by ICC & match fees the cricketers would have earned if not suspended by ICC, including interest at LIBOR.

If ICC is unwilling to act against the offending Englishmen & make good the losses suffered by Indians & Pakistanis, PCB & BCCI should simply resign from this International Cheaters Corporation.

Posted by dopppsy on (August 26, 2008, 5:05 GMT)

It's gotta be legal. Or else, one can't chew or suck on anything while handling the ball. For instance, who's to say a pack of 'centre fresh' can't help add a little more 'shine' to the ball? Are we going to stop players from chewing or sucking confectioneries on the field of play? Bottle caps, pins, hard objects that you can't chew on are legal. But anything that's sweet is on. Unless you happen to be suffering from diabetes. But that didn't stop Wasim Akram from reverse swinging the ball better than anybody else in the world. I think Marcus is just being a little naughty in trying to push his book. Now, now Marcus, that's just not cricket.

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