County news July 9, 2009

Omari Banks banned for ball tampering

Cricinfo staff

Former West Indies international Omari Banks has been banned for 12 days and Somerset fined £500 after he was found guilty of ball tampering by an ECB disciplinary commission.

Banks was charged that during a Somerset 2nd XI match against Essex on July 1 he "knowingly and deliberately changed the condition of the ball". He admitted the charge.

Banks used his thumb and fingernails to tamper with the ball when it was returned to him three times in an over while he was fielding at midwicket. The umpire observed this after already having suspicions as the ball had begun to swing unexpectedly. Five penalty runs were awarded to Essex and Banks was told he would be reported.

He told the commission he deeply regretted his actions adding that he acted as he did out of boredom. "He knew he should not do it, it was the first time he had done it and that he would not do it again," the report stated, adding "He did not think the rest of the team noticed."

The commission suspended Banks from all games within the jurisdiction of ECB until July 20, in effect ruling him out for three games in which he was likely to feature. Somerset were also fined and the points they gained from the match were removed.

"These penalties reflected the panel's view that the club had not taken adequate measures to prevent the offence occurring," the report concluded, adding the county had been asked to write to all its players reminding them of the seriousness of the offence.