Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Dubai, 4th day October 26, 2013

PCB wants clarification on 'inconsistent' ball-tampering penalty

ESPNcricinfo staff

Najam Sethi, the chairman of the interim management committee running the PCB, has said the Pakistan board wants clarification from the ICC on the "inconsistency" in the application of the ball-tampering rule. Pakistan's Shahid Afridi was banned for two Twenty20s in early 2010 for a ball-tampering offence that was loosely similar to the one involving Faf du Plessis in Dubai, for which du Plessis has been fined.

Sethi tweeted on Saturday evening: "PCB is writing letter to ICC seeking explanation of inconsistency by match referee in application of ball tampering rule to Afridi vs Faf." The PCB confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that this was the case.

Waqar Younis, speaking to ESPNcricinfo after the Test finished, also believed the fine was lenient: "I think, to be very honest, Faf got away with it with just 50% of the match fee. I thought it was a bit of frustration from the South Africans, they did not need to do that. It leaves a big question mark on South Africa's credibility."

Ball-tampering, which is a level two offence, comes with a fine of 50 to 100% of the match fee, and/or a ban of one Test or two limited-overs games.

Afridi had pleaded guilty to ball-tampering during an Australia-Pakistan ODI, in which he was captaining, in Perth, In January 2010. He was charged with an article 2.2.9 offence of the ICC code of conduct which relates to "changing the condition of the ball in breach of law 42.3 of the laws of cricket". Afridi was seen on television apparently biting the ball on a couple of occasions. His transgression was picked up the by the third umpire, and reported to the on-field umpires, who, after a chat with Afridi, changed the ball. Afridi was called into a hearing with the match referee Ranjan Madugalle immediately after the match, where he apologised for his actions.

Du Plessis pleaded guilty to the charge of ball-tampering during the Dubai Test on Friday, and was fined 50% of his match fee by match referee David Boon. In du Plessis' case, the incident occurred following television visuals of du Plessis rubbing the ball near the zipper of his trouser pocket. The TV umpire brought it to the attention of the on-field umpires Ian Gould and Rod Tucker, who called Graeme Smith over for a chat and subsequently changed the ball and awarded a five-run penalty against South Africa, sanctions that are consistent with the penalty for unlawfully changing the condition of the ball.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, speaking after the Test, refrained from commenting on the issue. "It has nothing to do with us," Misbah said. "It's between the match officials and their team. It's none of our business."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Simon on October 29, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    I think the rule needs some changes. Bowlers have little help as it is.

    How about allowing some manipulation of the ball provided no tools are used?

    Letting players use their fingers. No zips, or dirt or bottle tops. But picking the seam or scratching the ball? Everyone that plays cricket has hands. No unfair advantage, no radical change in the condition of the ball if you can only use your hands - especially if the amount of time they can handle the ball is controlled with with stricter over rate penalties.

  • rehan on October 29, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    Any One remember this incident when Shoaib Akhtar Was banned for 2 matches for breaching the same law 42.3

  • Farhan on October 28, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Faf admitted his crime and apologized for it probably thats why he got away easy. Situation with Afridi was different. He bite the ball like an apple and when asked he said he was smelling the ball and when pointed out that he had his teeth around the ball he went angry but even after that he didn't apologize. So probably Afridi's punishment have something to do with his unapologetic attitude

  • Shiv on October 28, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Ball tampering should legalized It gives bowlers at least some hope of getting wickets in these overly batsman friendly conditions of today

  • Adnan on October 28, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    5 run penalty is rubbish from ICC. That shows how lenient the cricket governing body is towards the game of Cricket. Instead the captain of the team or the member caught doing it should be sent out of the field for 5-10 overs. This should be an appropriate penalty, and enough threat for all players.

  • Jackie on October 28, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    The five run penalty seems ridiculous. The ball is tampered with in order to take a wicket (or two). The offender should lose his match fee and be suspended for a couple of games. Then there will be less willing participants in ball tampering. Du Plessis was given a job to look after the ball, it isn't illegal to shine the ball on trousers or sleeves. He chose to scuff the ball (on his hidden zipper) and has admitted his guilt. The match referee was too lenient and the PCB is quite right to complain.

  • Stephen on October 28, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    I'm intrested in the ICC viewpoint on the appropriateness of a 5 run penalty?

    If ball tampering causes excessive movement it could easily cause 1 more wicket to fall. I'm interested to know the number of matches that have been won by only 1 wicket as opposed to 5 or less runs?

  • Johnathon on October 28, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    The ICC needs to understand how much of a joke this punishment is. 50% of a Test Match fee? Are you kidding me? I hate to break it to them, but nobody plays Test Matches for the money... And with Faf having a contract with the Chennai Super Kings, I don't see why he should be disturbed by this. At the LEAST, the ICC should give him a more heftier fine. In the end, I see the ICC taking over all cricket boards and standardizing everything (as it should be). This allows countries to play a certain amount of games per year and makes sure they play every team an equal amounts. By regulating the pitches, they also ensure that the surface is not too flat, nor too unfair. In those situations, ball tampering is an even more serious offense and should/would be treated more harshly

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    Here is a complete list of the players fined or suspended for ball tampering

    Waqar Younis (Pakistan) fined 50 percent match fee and suspended for one one-day, Colombo 2000

    Azhar Mahmood (Pakistan) fined 30 percent match fee, Colombo 2000

    Sachin Tendulkar (India) vs South Africa Port Elizabeth Test - fined 75 percent fee and suspended suspension for one Test in 2001

    Shoaib Akhtar fined 75 percent fee and banned for two one-day matches tri-series vs Sri Lanka in Dambulla - 2003

    Rahul Dravid (India) vs Zimbabwe one-day Äfined 50 percent fee in Brisbane 2004

    Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) vs Australia in a one-day Perth 2010

    banned for two T20s

    Micheal Atherton (England) vs South Africa Oval Test, fined 2,000 pound by England and Wales Cricket Board, 30 percent by match referee on showing dissent - 1994. - Sapa-AFP

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    pcb must stand up of this non justice . icc remain neutral and treat equally with anyone.

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