ICC Code of Conduct hearing October 1, 2006

'Scratches slightly aroused my suspicions' - Hughes

Cricinfo staff

The analyst Simon Hughes says he had his doubts about the ball used by Pakistan in the Oval Test. Hughes, who was a witness in Inzamam Ul-Haq's disciplinary hearing last week, was asked to examine the ball and give his opinions.

"One or two of the scratches were concentrated on one area and that slightly aroused my suspicions," he told BBC Five Live. "But it was impossible to say for sure whether they got there naturally or with human intervention.

"I don't think it's any different to what England players and others do, countries do," he added, before saying that ball-tampering is common in world cricket. "If we're honest about this most bowlers in the world - of all countries - do kind of tamper with the ball in some way or other.

"We get in a great big lather about this but it's just minor things on the ball that might or might not help it to swing a little bit and make the game a bit more interesting."

However, the England fast bowler Simon Jones was keen to stress that reverse swing can be achieved without working on the ball. "People who say reverse swing is not possible without ball-tampering obviously know nothing about cricket," he told The Western Mail. "I know what I did was legal. I would never do anything outside the laws of the game."