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We haven't tampered with the ball - Cook

Andrew McGlashan

October 3, 2011

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook speaks to the press before leaving for India, Heathrow, October 3, 2011
Alastair Cook came out in defence of his bowlers at Heathrow © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Alastair Cook | Umar Gul
Teams: England

England's one-day captain Alastair Cook has rubbished claims by Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul that James Anderson and Stuart Broad were involved in ball tampering. Cook said if Gul did have any concerns he should have gone through the proper channels.

Gul hit the headlines after giving an interview in Karachi, where he suggested he had seen examples of ball tampering and mentioned seeing Anderson and Broad using various techniques. However, he later tried to step back from controversy by saying he was only talking about the England pair in relation to natural wear that develops on a ball by throwing it across the outfield.

"We certainly haven't tampered with the ball and if he did have any complaints he should have gone to the ICC over that," Cook said at Heathrow airport ahead of England's departure for their one-day series in India. "I think he has almost said himself that it has been a bit of a mountain out of a molehill."

In a statement to Pakpassion.net, where Gul's original comments first appeared, he clarified his remarks. "I was explaining that the ball gets scratched when it is thrown against the rough surface or hits the advertisement boards along the boundary rope. In this manner, I said, every bowler can be accused of doing it."

Gul made his earlier comments in an interview where he talked about the art of reverse swing and how various elements of ball tampering shouldn't be included with the laws. "Leave cricket with its traditional ways rather than making changes that would take all the charm out of it," he said.

The recent change to using a separate ball from either end during one-day internationals, which will be implemented for the first time when Bangladesh play West Indies, could impact the role of reverse swing during 50-over matches. Under the previous regulations the ball was changed after 34 overs and the period shortly before the switch was when the fast bowlers would sometimes start to get the ball to reverse. However, with neither ball having no more than 25 overs of wear it will be harder for the natural deterioration to take place.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (October 6, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

in 2005 england did do it. and ever since england have try but failed. now they could still be doing it but it is still in the air about what level they are doing it.

Posted by RandyOZ on (October 5, 2011, 5:18 GMT)

Sad thing is England think theyre so good after 1 Ashes win. hahahah good thing they'll never reach our 20 years dominance!

Posted by phoenixsteve on (October 5, 2011, 2:17 GMT)

As an England supporter some of these comments make my blood boil! However. rather than respond to ridiculous accusations born out of envy.... I'm going to let my team do the talking! Can't wait to read all the pathetic excuses from subcontinent fans(excepting Sri Lamka) COME ON ENNGLAND!!!

Posted by Vishnu27 on (October 4, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

Enjoy the heady moments, landl47. You definitely like milking it for all it's worth; & justifiably so. However, I personally don't think England have a "dynasty" kind of set-up/squad. I may be completely wrong though. So let's just see how long you can hold that number one ranking, shall we? I don't think you'll still number one in 12 months. Good luck to England; they were certainly long overdue to show a bit of spinal column & heartbeat.

Posted by shillingsworth on (October 4, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

The ICC statement regarding the allegations against Broad and Anderson said 'having reviewed relevant television footage, the umpires decided not to bring a charge against any player for a breach of Law 42.3. As such, the ICC now considers this specific matter to be closed.' End of story.

Posted by thegone on (October 4, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

All this talk about changing the law as its a batsmans game is irrelevent. The fact of the matter is that the laws of the game dictate that certin ways of ageing the ball are illegal inc some of the methods anderson has been seen doing. If he is ball tampering he must recive a punishment. If this was a Pakistan player doing the same thing he would have been exposed by now. This is not the first time england have bent the spirit of the game, think back to the 05 ashes campain and their use of the 12 man. Lets get serious about protecting that spirit or we may as well give up and trow rock at each other instead

Posted by sweetspot on (October 4, 2011, 4:16 GMT)

I can say with conviction that James Anderson does not know HOW to tamper a cricket ball, particularly the white one. Or else, would he get belted by Bangladesh for ninety in ten? I think his tampering had the reverse effect in the sub continent! As for Broad, I wouldn't blame him, after going for 36 in 6 balls against Yuvraj Singh. But England did use more than one year old red balls for the entire Test series against India - preserved for the prodigious swing old red balls produce.

Posted by   on (October 4, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

broad roughed up the ball with his foot and everyone knows it. they have used lollies before as well. the sydney test in the ashes. that ball looked like it was roughed up by different means

Posted by landl47 on (October 4, 2011, 3:07 GMT)

What a load of nonsense. What Anderson did was simply tidying up the ball- he didn't touch the seam or alter the ball so that it would give him an advantage. If anything, what he did in picking off a small loose piece of leather (something the umpires do regularly) made the ball behave more predictably. This film has been reviewed and it was determined Anderson did nothing wrong. As for 'outrage' from subcontinental fans... Dravid was fined for tampering. Imran Khan admitted tampering. Tendulkar has been filmed cleaning the ball with his fingernail, exactly what Anderson did. Umar Gul got excited and said too much and is now backtracking in a panic. More pathetic excuses from sides whom England has beaten in the last year in both tests and ODIs. @Cric1988- I guess you missed the Ashes series in Australia where Anderson took 24 wickets @ 26 each. @jonesy2- I still laugh when I think about England beating Aus 3 times by an innings in Australia. I guess England are good, as you said.

Posted by soorajiyer on (October 4, 2011, 2:59 GMT)

The same molehill becomes a himalayas, if it was an Indian/Pakistani or Srilankan doing it! Its been that way for ages.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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