New Zealand news January 8, 2010

Dermot Reeve censured for ball-tampering remarks

Cricinfo staff

Central Districts coach and former England allrounder Dermot Reeve has been censured and fined for his accusations of ball tampering against England batsman Ravi Bopara, who plays for Auckland, made after a one-day game in Palmerston North last month.

New Zealand cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan initiated a Code of Conduct hearing to determine whether the comments made by Reeve on 22 December were prejudicial to the game in New Zealand or brought the game into disrepute.

Reeve had said he witnessed Bopara picking at the seam in order to get the ball to reverse-swing during CD's failed run-chase. Bopara, who had scored a century in the match, also claimed 1 for 51 in ten overs with his medium-pace.

"I would take an oath and swear on my children's lives, that I saw Ravi Bopara using his nails on the ball to help it swing," Reeve had told the Dominion Post.

"When I spoke to the umpires, they said 'unless we actually see somebody putting their nails in or doing something to the ball, how can we prove it'? Unless an umpire has got the b**** to stop Bopara in his run-up and just say 'give me the ball right then', he'll see a raised quarter seam, causing reverse swing."

The hearing was heard by commissioner Roger Mori, who determined that Reeve's comments constituted a breach of the Code of Conduct. He noted that though Reeve's actions were not malicious and were motivated by a desire to prevent ball tampering in future matches, his action in involving the news media was misguided and inappropriate.

As a result, Reeve has been censured for his remarks and a fine of NZ$750 has been imposed.