Champions Trophy 2013 June 16, 2013

Anderson angered by Willis claims

ESPNcricinfo staff

James Anderson has responded angrily to the suggestion that England have been involved in ball-tampering during the Champions Trophy.

Bob Willis, the former England captain, sparked the controversy in his role as a TV commentator by saying there was no other reason for the umpires to change the ball as they did midway through Sri Lanka's run chase at The Oval. Ashley Giles launched a strong defence yesterday and now Anderson has followed up in his newspaper column.

"It's very disappointing and frustrating that anyone, but especially a former England captain, should say these things, especially when we're preparing for a massive game," Anderson told the Mail on Sunday.

"The fact is people can think what they like. We know the truth, I can state categorically that no one in the England team has ever tampered with a ball and we won't allow comments made by someone like Bob Willis to worry us.

England are always keen to try and get the ball to reverse swing, as they did against Australia in their opening match of the Champions Trophy, and Anderson is adamant it is all down to their own hard work and skill.

"Reverse swing has been an issue in cricket for a while," he added. "But just because one bowler or one team reverse a ball better than another on a given day doesn't mean to say he or they have been tampering. It just means they're more skilful.

"I can assure you that if any of the England bowlers achieve it then it is within the letter of the laws. When we played Australia the square at Edgbaston was very dry and there were a lot of dry patches that got roughed up and resulted in scuffs on the ball.

"At The Oval against Sri Lanka the other day there were nowhere near as many dry areas and that's mainly why the ball didn't reverse anywhere near as much."