Trescothick's ball-tampering confession

Roasted on a spit

Marcus Trescothick revealed he used an objectionable trick to retain the shine on the ball, but failed to ruffle more than a few feathers

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 29, 2008

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"I think it's pretty silly of Marcus Trescothick to come out and say it, but obviously he's trying to sell some books... I'll think you find that bowlers have been doing things to the ball since cocky was an egg... The series in 2005 is certainly in my opinion the most memorable Test series that I've seen. So much of that had to do with the fact the ball was swinging."
Ian Chappell has seen it all, especially in the days before 227 cameras

"It is some form of ball-tampering, it is not about natural deterioration. It is illegal, isn't it?... I loved the wrist release of [Andrew] Flintoff, [Simon] Jones and [Steve] Harmison, but always felt something was going on as the ball was reversing by the 40th over, especially on grassy pitches."
Surely, Damien Fleming never used this particular trick before. Did he even know of it in the first place?

"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 you deliberately put sugary saliva on it to aid its shine. So I don't see any difference between one and the other. 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."
Angus Fraser spots the double standards involved

"People use suntan oil, lip salve, scruff the ball with finger and thumbs, until they get caught. If you apply suntan oil on your forehead or face or arms, rub the sweat on your body, and then rub the ball what is the difference?"
As an umpire Peter Willey has been there before

"I actually wish Marcus put a bit more mint on the ball so it deflected further off my glove... We're talking about using mints. There are a lot more major issues in the game at the moment to worry about."
Michael Kasprowicz looks back without bitterness at Edgbaston 2005

"I had no knowledge of it and I certainly wouldn't recommend anything like that. 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."
Troy Cooley, England's bowling coach at the time, didn't know what was going on

"If it was proved they cheated, we would have a right to be upset."
Simon Katich dead-bats the question

''Marcus has written a book, hasn't he? Well ... good luck, like I say, that's in the past."
Michael Clarke dismisses it as a publicity stunt, without quite saying so

"We all knew that. The reverse swing they generated was unbelievable."
An unidentified Australian player, in the Australian

"Two thousand and five is a long time ago. If he's come out and said that he's used it, yes, it's unethical. Yes, he got away with it, good luck to him. You can't change the result of the Test series, so it's no good worrying about it."
Merv Hughes, Australia's selector on duty during the series, thinks it's all water under the bridge

"I don't use mints and I'm not sure whether any of the other lads use them or not. It's probably just sour grapes. Are you telling me that they've not done it?"
Simon Jones' response to Nathan Bracken's comments that the use of mints to shine the ball was a practice prevalent in English county cricket

"He has retired now, and he has just written that to sell the book. I've never heard of that working. How much difference could a breath mint make?"
Terry Alderman mirrors Clarke's views, a bit more bluntly

"According to the laws this is illegal - but we won't outlaw sucking sweets. It depends on the evidence and circumstances, so if something is brought to our attention it would be dealt with. But where do you stop, for example, if you start to try to stop everyone who is chewing gum?''
The ICC's stance, as of now

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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