Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day July 20, 2014

SLC ensure tampering footage aired

50

Sri Lanka Cricket was able to ensure that the television footage of Vernon Philander's ball-tampering was aired 48 hours after the incident took place. In the interim period, it has been established that the Ten Sports producers were under pressure by the South African team not to have the footage shown in their broadcast. CSA have declined to comment on the incident.

In the TV footage that finally appeared during the closing stages of the Galle Test, Philander was seen scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb in the afternoon session of the third day. Philander dug his nails into the rough side of the ball at least twice and was also seen covering the ball with one hand while picking at it with the other. At the time of the incident, the pictures were only viewed by the Ten Sports production team and match officials.

Ten Sports showed the pictures on day five at the end of the 69th over, shortly after the second session drinks break - within 20 minutes of an SLC official visiting the production team at the ground and making it clear they wanted the pictures broadcast. It followed almost two days of pressure by CSA and the South Africa team management on the TV producers to not air the footage as it could "create a negative image" of their team.

When the television cameras had picked up images of Philander picking on the ball, they did not air the footage but alerted the ICC match referee Jeff Crowe, who viewed the footage at tea time. No message was sent to the on-field officials until the incident was reviewed after the day's play. Philander was then charged, pleaded guilty and was fined but the pictures were not shown at all. A source in the know of the incident said, "CSA big-wigs made it clear they would not be happy if we showed the incident."

Not broadcasting the pictures at the time of the incident also prevented the third umpire from viewing the footage, and precluded the possibility the third umpire would interrupt play as soon as evidence of ball-tampering emerged. As it transpired, South Africa used the ball Philander had tampered with till late in the evening session. Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said after the match that the ball had reverse-swung more on the third evening, than at a comparable stage of the innings on day five.

Crowe was the only match official aware of the tampering before the close of play, but he is not allowed to present the footage he viewed to the umpires, while play is ongoing. All five match officials viewed the footage after stumps on day three, at which point the umpires laid the charge against Philander.

SLC may have acted sooner, but were unaware of the pressure being placed by CSA until Sunday. When officials from the home side heard of the directive sent out to the producers, they insisted that Ten Sports show the footage and the producers had no choice but to relent. Ten Sports are broadcasting this series under SLC's purview, as part of the $60 million deal the broadcast company had signed with the board, for coverage up to 2020.

This is not the first skirmish between CSA and Ten Sports, which owns rights to broadcast South African cricket outside of South Africa on a basis of a R1.5 billion (US$150 million) contract. Ten Sports also held the rights for Pakistan cricket during South Africa's tour of the UAE last October-November when Faf du Plessis was caught on camera rubbing the ball near the zipper on his trouser pocket. The television umpire alerted the on-field officials who awarded five penalty runs to Pakistan and changed the ball. Du Plessis was later fined 50% of his match fee after pleading guilty to ball tampering.

At the time, CSA responded furiously at Ten Sports' coverage, one insider saying, "They (CSA) told us they would take away our rights and threatened to deny us player interviews in the future," an insider said.

Sri Lanka have not made any other big noises about the ball-tampering incident except to say they would like to see the umpires take stronger action. "It's unfortunate when someone tampers with the ball. If they tamper with the ball, they get the better of it. I think the umpires need to make sure it doesn't happen again," Mathews said.

Asked if he felt his side was cheated, Mathews was careful. "It's not within the laws. You can't tamper with the ball. It's the umpires' decision and they need to make sure it doesn't happen again." He also noted there was more reverse swing on the third afternoon than there was on the final day.

South Africa have tried to play down the incident. Dale Steyn's first answer to whether the ball-tampering fine blighted the victory was, "I don't really think about that," and he followed it up with, "I think tomorrow morning in the papers it will say that we won this game regardless, so I don't know what to say about that," he said.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent. Andrew Fidel Fernando is the Sri Lanka correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 20, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    Sure it shouldn't happen. Yes, Vern should have got a harsher penalty than 75% of his match fee. Would it have altered the course of the game? I highly doubt it, might have given SL a few extra runs but going by the way we played in the 2nd innings it wouldn't have made much of a difference. South Africa bowled very well right throughout and Vern needn't have tampered with the ball to get wickets. Without the ball tampering incident I still think our lower-middle order would have been blown away for under 300 in the first innings. Am glad that unlike some other cricketing nations we didn't hide behind a single incident and blow it out of proportion.

    It just isn't right to pressurize the broadcaster what to show and what not to show, we as fans should be able to see and decide. Action should be taken against those officials who exerted pressure on the broadcaster.

  • nickexplore on July 23, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Thanks @SripriyaReddy. Yes, we know it was aired at the end of the 69th over on day 5, but when on day 3 did Philander tamper with the ball? As well as bowling early in SL innings, Philander bowled overs 46, 48, 50 and 52, and again after tea with Steyn, Philander bowled overs 67, 69 and 71. This was the time when Steyn skittled Thirimanne 71.1, Chandimal 73.4 and Dilruwan 75.3 with his reverse swing. It is unlikely that Philander had much access to the ball when fielding, so that leaves his 4-over spell 46-52 before tea or during his 3-over post-tea spell 67-71. That the match referee, who was shown the ball-tampering by Ten Sports during the match, could not take action until after the close of play, is something that must change. With the ball reversing it is not surprising that SA did not take the new ball till 97.2 over.

  • SripriyaReddy on July 22, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    @nickexplore, Ten Cricket aired the ball tampering footage exactly after the end of the 69th over, the footage aired for a brief 10 secs of so.

  • krishna_bangalore on July 22, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Very poor from SA Team and Board. Good to see how Srilankans had handled the situation. Aren't there any regulations for broadcasters to immediately report such matters to match officials? If this was reported/shown on time, it could have resulted in change of ball, five run penalty and potentially a different result in the test.

    There were some comments earlier on comparing the spirit which this test was played compared to the "other" match between two teams incapable of playing in right spirit. All I can say is, if you need to put some one down to show that you are good, think again.

  • nickexplore on July 22, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    ESPN Cicinfo or anyone, please? When exactly was the Ten Sports footage taken of Philander tampering with the ball? In which over? This is the missing piece of the puzzle.

    We know that Philander opened up with Steyn after tea for the 67th over and bowled 3 overs. Steyn bowled 5, with the figures 5-3-8-3, accounting for Thirimanne 71.2, Chandimal 73.4 and Dilruwan 75.3. Is it during his 3 overs post-tea when Philander is seen scratching the ball?

    That SA bowled 97.2 overs with the first ball and did not opt for the second new ball after 80 is extraordinary in Test cricket and of course adds further suspicion as to the state of the ball and Philander's actions.

  • Cric_fann on July 22, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    Crowe should have pointed out this issue to the on-field umpires as soon as tampering was found out from visuals and the ball should have been changed for the first instance. Rest comes later, the enquiry and the fines. Should go systematically to protect the game in the right spirit. Had the ball been changed as soon as tampering was found out from visuals, SA might not have gained unnecessary advantage (more reverse swing) if any..

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    I agree with most comments here. in their attempt to 'save face' CSA has brought itself further disrepute. They have a good team, but such tactics will always be remembered for longer than the end result

  • TheCricketeer on July 21, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    I am South African and a fan of South African cricket.

    But - the ICC need to be harder on these kinds of incidents. I think any time a player is found guilty of an offense like this the team should forfeit the test match.

    The problem is thousands of junior and club cricketers will be digging their nails into the ball this week after seeing what Vernon was doing.

    The argument that it doesnt have an impact doesnt wash with me. If it didnt have any impact noone would do it. Reverse swing is exciting and when a bowler gets it going its great to watch and I would hate to see it disappear from cricket because the ball is over protected but I would rather let the players bounce it around a little more than is currently acceptable then have guys scratching away at it.

  • on July 21, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    Ball tampering is not the only issue to lost the test match for Sri Lanka. South Africa scored well in first innings and the injury of Eranga lost them a bowler. If South Africa all out for 275. It would have been a different story.

  • on July 21, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    To be honest his efforts to scratch the ball to make it swing more is not going to change the condition of the ball thus the umpires could not pick it up after frequently checking it. It is still wrong of him to have done it. There was an attempt made. Players should just let the natural causes take place and do everything in accordance with the rules of the game. Bouncing it in from the boundary is legal and that will cause more damage to the ball than a finger nail.

  • on July 20, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    Sure it shouldn't happen. Yes, Vern should have got a harsher penalty than 75% of his match fee. Would it have altered the course of the game? I highly doubt it, might have given SL a few extra runs but going by the way we played in the 2nd innings it wouldn't have made much of a difference. South Africa bowled very well right throughout and Vern needn't have tampered with the ball to get wickets. Without the ball tampering incident I still think our lower-middle order would have been blown away for under 300 in the first innings. Am glad that unlike some other cricketing nations we didn't hide behind a single incident and blow it out of proportion.

    It just isn't right to pressurize the broadcaster what to show and what not to show, we as fans should be able to see and decide. Action should be taken against those officials who exerted pressure on the broadcaster.

  • nickexplore on July 23, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Thanks @SripriyaReddy. Yes, we know it was aired at the end of the 69th over on day 5, but when on day 3 did Philander tamper with the ball? As well as bowling early in SL innings, Philander bowled overs 46, 48, 50 and 52, and again after tea with Steyn, Philander bowled overs 67, 69 and 71. This was the time when Steyn skittled Thirimanne 71.1, Chandimal 73.4 and Dilruwan 75.3 with his reverse swing. It is unlikely that Philander had much access to the ball when fielding, so that leaves his 4-over spell 46-52 before tea or during his 3-over post-tea spell 67-71. That the match referee, who was shown the ball-tampering by Ten Sports during the match, could not take action until after the close of play, is something that must change. With the ball reversing it is not surprising that SA did not take the new ball till 97.2 over.

  • SripriyaReddy on July 22, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    @nickexplore, Ten Cricket aired the ball tampering footage exactly after the end of the 69th over, the footage aired for a brief 10 secs of so.

  • krishna_bangalore on July 22, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Very poor from SA Team and Board. Good to see how Srilankans had handled the situation. Aren't there any regulations for broadcasters to immediately report such matters to match officials? If this was reported/shown on time, it could have resulted in change of ball, five run penalty and potentially a different result in the test.

    There were some comments earlier on comparing the spirit which this test was played compared to the "other" match between two teams incapable of playing in right spirit. All I can say is, if you need to put some one down to show that you are good, think again.

  • nickexplore on July 22, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    ESPN Cicinfo or anyone, please? When exactly was the Ten Sports footage taken of Philander tampering with the ball? In which over? This is the missing piece of the puzzle.

    We know that Philander opened up with Steyn after tea for the 67th over and bowled 3 overs. Steyn bowled 5, with the figures 5-3-8-3, accounting for Thirimanne 71.2, Chandimal 73.4 and Dilruwan 75.3. Is it during his 3 overs post-tea when Philander is seen scratching the ball?

    That SA bowled 97.2 overs with the first ball and did not opt for the second new ball after 80 is extraordinary in Test cricket and of course adds further suspicion as to the state of the ball and Philander's actions.

  • Cric_fann on July 22, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    Crowe should have pointed out this issue to the on-field umpires as soon as tampering was found out from visuals and the ball should have been changed for the first instance. Rest comes later, the enquiry and the fines. Should go systematically to protect the game in the right spirit. Had the ball been changed as soon as tampering was found out from visuals, SA might not have gained unnecessary advantage (more reverse swing) if any..

  • on July 21, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    I agree with most comments here. in their attempt to 'save face' CSA has brought itself further disrepute. They have a good team, but such tactics will always be remembered for longer than the end result

  • TheCricketeer on July 21, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    I am South African and a fan of South African cricket.

    But - the ICC need to be harder on these kinds of incidents. I think any time a player is found guilty of an offense like this the team should forfeit the test match.

    The problem is thousands of junior and club cricketers will be digging their nails into the ball this week after seeing what Vernon was doing.

    The argument that it doesnt have an impact doesnt wash with me. If it didnt have any impact noone would do it. Reverse swing is exciting and when a bowler gets it going its great to watch and I would hate to see it disappear from cricket because the ball is over protected but I would rather let the players bounce it around a little more than is currently acceptable then have guys scratching away at it.

  • on July 21, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    Ball tampering is not the only issue to lost the test match for Sri Lanka. South Africa scored well in first innings and the injury of Eranga lost them a bowler. If South Africa all out for 275. It would have been a different story.

  • on July 21, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    To be honest his efforts to scratch the ball to make it swing more is not going to change the condition of the ball thus the umpires could not pick it up after frequently checking it. It is still wrong of him to have done it. There was an attempt made. Players should just let the natural causes take place and do everything in accordance with the rules of the game. Bouncing it in from the boundary is legal and that will cause more damage to the ball than a finger nail.

  • on July 21, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    "Ball Tampering": Scratching at the ball. Ha, what a joke. All players "tamper" with the ball when they shine one side, dry another side, apply spit and/or sweat to the ball. Picking at the ball with your fingers should be legal. 75% match fees, for using your tools to perform your job. A farce. This is why Vern thought it was easy to admit guilt. He was guilty, and will probably continue doing so. Its the bowler's right to get the most out of the ball.

    The CSA behaviour is a completely different story, but not unlike most Big Board Behaviour, strong-arming others to show a favourable image; Disgusting. They should be fined 75% of their "match fees" for that despicable and intolerable behaviour.

  • MrGarreth on July 21, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    Agree with Darshan. It's very easy to use the incident as a scapegoat for failures. It shouldn't have happened but it is deluded to conclude that the Sri Lankan collapse was down to a few scratches on the ball especially after the umpires determined that the ball was not altered in a way that it needed to be replaced. I can think of a number of shots the Sri Lankan batsmen played (Both of Sanga's dismissals for instance) that had more to do with carelessness than anything else. In fact Sri Lanka's 3 best batsmen - Sanga, Mahela and Mathews - can't claim that any of their wickets were down to reverse swing caused by a wild, swinging, unfairly altered ball. CSA asking the broadcasters not to air the footage is disgraceful but it's CSA and as an SA supporter I will say no more than that. I'm more concerned by the fact that SA seem more focused on discreetness than eliminating the culture of scratching the ball. Though the law is very fickle regarding scratching.

  • Dr.Lakson on July 21, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Next time around the broadcaster may not show it even later to the officials to avoid any commercial fallout with respect to broadcasting rights. Pretty sad state of affairs. Money talks!

  • on July 21, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    Shame on you Philander bringing disrepute to your team in a most important test match for both teams.Players like you should be given stiffer punishment instead of only a 75% penalty of match fee which I think is pretty lenient to escape even without a ban on playing a couple of matches. Even captains with slow over rates have to sit out matches. It is high time that the ICC fine tune their rules and penalties to deal with such issues in a more transparent and swifter manner.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 21, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    @ TommytuckerSaffa @ Weerasiri Abeytunge -Well,the footage of the incident is ample proof enough. It was so clear cut to any 1 .As to him admitting to the offence ,he couldn't say otherwise ,as such is the clear evidence against him. Please publish

  • dunger.bob on July 21, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    I'll try again to get something posted. I believe there are two distinct issues here. Firstly there's the ball tampering itself. Bad enough, but not earth shattering. Players have been messing with the ball since WG Graces day and even though they know they shouldn't, I believe players will continue to try it on whenever they think they can get away with it. Vern got caught so should pay whatever penalty is currently in vogue.

    The second issue is much more serious imo. In my country, in a criminal case (which this is obviously not, but the parallels remain), if anyone is caught trying to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence they are normally charged with 'perverting the course of justice' and the book is thrown at them as well as a heavy gaol sentence. I'm not suggesting anyone should go to gaol, all I'm saying is that what those CA officials did was far, far worse than what Vern did. And all to uphold an image that no-one outside SA believes anyway. .. Sack them, now.

  • Reggaecricket on July 21, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    It is difficult o say whether or not this incident of ball tampering had a bearing on the final result of the game. SL played badly in the fourth innings, without any ball tampering by SA. On the other hand, they were hurriedly bundled out on the 3rd day with a ball that was reverse swinging - ironically the same day Vern was caught piking at the seam? So,the SA side had a larger lead and SL had much more to get on a 4th innings pitch. The result of the match was decided by how two teams played two innings each

  • on July 21, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, perhaps it tells us that Faf was caught straight up before he could get at the ball properly. It's all well and good to say that Amla, Steyn, Morkel and others would not partake in such matters, but neither would you have expected it from Philander until this incident. Great to see you also admitting that you were wrong.

  • RanaWaqa121 on July 21, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    Shame full act and must be banned for at least 5 test matches & onedays

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 21, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    If you are unsure of the laws of cricket or the incident itself, then please read Weerasiri Abeytunge comment below. Perfectly summed up.

  • Hareendra on July 21, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    I don't think the ball tampering incident had any effect on the result of the match. SA played a fabulous game and would have won regardless of Vern's "efforts".

    However, I think that the match referee made a poor decision in not informing the on field umpires immediately. As soon as the footage was show to the match referee, he should have informed the umpires and changed the ball. Because of his slow response, SA got the chance to use the tampered ball for a long time. Which is ridiculous!

  • nusratv on July 21, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    There are too many question marks on this SA victory, the ball tampering itself, the footage not broadcast immediately, the 3rd umpire thus unable to alert the on field umpires and SA bowlers thus able to illegally use the ball tampering effect to get wickets, no five run penalty, the pleading guilty without any contest and then the pressure from CSA to Tensports to not telecast the footage. ICC should intervene and consider declaring this result void. It will send a strong message to all sides and will help containing this tampering issue.

  • cric1965 on July 21, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Because of excess reverse swing Steyn took quick wickets after tea on Sri Lanka,s first innings . Otherwise Sri Lanka would have scored more runs in first innings. Then the results would have different. Is this win due to ball tampering? Ball tampering should give minimum 6 months ban to play any form of cricket. Need strict rules. Otherwise you cannot stop this. What about the spirit of Cricket South Africans?

  • on July 21, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    I'm very surprised Philander got away with a 75% fine. The damage was for team Sri Lanka when wickets fell for reverse swing. Who can compensate that? Is this the way to win test matches? Please bring in the law where the all 11 members are fined.

  • on July 21, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    If the on field umpires who inspect the ball regularly, did not see evidence of tampering in the field then the matter should have been settled then and there. Philander had to abide with the decision of the umpires and the match referee, without contesting it when the fine was imposed, which of course cannot be construed as an admission of guilt.

  • Ascharya on July 21, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Everyone has seen the footage now, HOW BLATANT WAS THAT?!!

    Minimum should be a fine and a match ban. This was taken way too lightly by the ICC. South Africa should be embarrassed by what they've done and the fact that this not the 1st time they've been accused of it. 3 times in 9 months is not something that can be overlooked, not that it should be allowed when someone does it for the 1st time. If someone from SL did it, SLC would've given the player a ban themselves but hearing that CSA were trying to cover it up, can't expect same from CSA. Shame on the ICC and CSA.

    If you don't want a negative image to be created, don't break the laws.

    How can they pressure Ten Sports into not airing the footage?? Good that SLC found out about it before the series ended.

  • TEROSHAN on July 21, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    Pls SA your are My My 2nd Best team after SL .. I have such good memory in your vist to Sl in 1993 .. You all are such fair plesent players since Rhodes Cronje And Mc Miliin Time 1993 ... We love you SA and Congrats for your win here .. BUT for what reson you did the tampering .. it is one player but now it was effected with whole team..

  • on July 21, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    Ball tampering is a very serious offence and goes against the established values of the game.No doubt Steyn is the best among the lot.But he got the Srilankan wickets immediately after the ball was tampered.It does not go well.

  • Greatest_Game on July 21, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    I'm disappointed in CSA's actions. Trying to suppress evidence leads only to more problems. Richard Nixon proved that!! Whoever was responsible for trying to suppress the footage should lose his job.What needs to be established is whether Philander was acting on his own, or as part of a plan. Amla would never tolerate this. If others were involved, strong discipline is needed.

    @ Wapuser. The listing of 3 incidents is misleading. In the PE test Warner was mouthing off. That is evidence of nothing. If he had evidence it should have been presented to the ICC. Warner's opinion cannot be considered a "Case" of tampering.

    In the UAE the match referee stated du Plessis ""was not part of a deliberate and/or prolonged attempt to unfairly manipulate the condition of the ball." The only wickets seamers took were in the first 2 overs. Spinners took the other wickets. That tells you all you need to know!

  • Greatest_Game on July 21, 2014, 2:09 GMT

    Enough evidence to drop Philander for the next test. I'm sure Amla did not know of it. Without question he would not tolerate it - ever. I don't see Steyn tolerating it either, & Morkel is about as straight as you get! Philander is feeling heat for not taking wickets for a while, & knows Abbot is waiting for his chance. What needs to be known is if Philander was doing this during or just before a spell of his bowling. That would suggest he was acting on his own behalf.

    The incident with Faf in the UAE was overblown. No seamer took a wicket after the first 2 overs. No amount of rubbing the ball "in the vicinity of his zipper" would have helped Duminy, Tahir & Elgar take the remaining wickets. The match referee stated he "was not part of a deliberate and/or prolonged attempt to unfairly manipulate the condition of the ball."

    This is different. If Philander was digging his nails in & scratching, CSA should drop him for the upcoming game, then review his future. This is unacceptable.

  • nickexplore on July 21, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    When the footage of Philander scouring the ball was aired by Ten Sports yesterday there was stunned silence in the Galle Cricket Club stand at the match. The members were in complete shock. No wonder Philander pleaded guilty. Steyn's devastating spell of reverse-swing, that tore the heart out of SLs middle order after tea on day 3, completely turned the match in SAs favour. That CSA officials tried to pressure Ten Sports to keep the footage from being shown is very sad indeed.

    Firdose Moonda's article says it all and ESPN Cricinfo is to be congratulated for qpublishing it. That Mathews and his team accept the ball-tampering incident with such equanimity is great credit to them.

  • Stat1977 on July 21, 2014, 1:52 GMT

    Winning matches this way is ridiculous!

  • Mad_Hamish on July 21, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    My feelings are that it's reasonable that the footage isn't aired publicly before the hearing was held (or in this case before Philander pled guilty) but that shouldn't be the CSA board's decision, it should be up to the broadcaster. However it definitely should have been pointed out to the 3rd umpire immediately so that the umpires could determine if penalty runs should apply and if a ball replacement should happen.

  • hnlns on July 21, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    This incident will certainly sour the victory celebrations to a great extent. SA had played very well all along during this test and did not need this kind of unethical stuff to earn their win. They would have won even without this unwanted negative publicity. Steyn and Morkel were ferocious enough on the last day track with their furious pace alone. If SA cricket board wants to protect their team's image, rather than sweeping things under the carpet by bullying Ten Sports, they should hand a 1 or 2-test ban to Vernon on their own, just to show that their national team is indeed strong morally and ethically too.

  • S305 on July 21, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    @ Brett Donnelly: You are right: I am also shocked; but SL players have no excuse. SA was just too good. SL players should know by now how to handle reverse swing in their own backyard.

  • on July 21, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    Sadly CSA seems to be blinded to even think that their players might be engaging in unethical tactics. Just claiming you play to the highest standards means nothing when you are caught red handed.

  • Twinkie on July 20, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    " I think the paper tomorrow will say that we won." I guess this epitomises the attitude that prevails in sport. It doesn't matter how you win as long as the record says that you have won. Awful from Philander You guys are better than that. I want to see brilliant bowling off your own steam. That's what makes sport fun. That's what makes us watch.

  • on July 20, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    As a fan of South African cricket, I'd just say Proteas have enough talent in their line-up to win it without resorting to these kinda shenanigans. It's unfortunate that Steyn and Morkel's mastery will be overshadowed by this kind of untoward stuff. As for Sri Lanka, I heartily appreciate the way Mathews handled it. He could've used this as a chance to get back at people who gave him a lot of grief for Senanayeke 'mankading' incident. There's no excuse for it. Pretty sure both teams know that, and Steyn - as good a bowler he is - is being daft in trying to paper over those cracks.

  • Gunston on July 20, 2014, 23:28 GMT

    @Brett Donnelly- How can this be a fair and square game? When games these days are simply 'won' by one good performance in one session, an incisive spell of 'prodigious' reverse swing, swung the game in SA's favuour and SA blew SL away in the first innings when the pitch was still good for batting. Every inch counts these days...and one scratch on the old side of the ball, can mean shaving the top of off or missing it...

  • MeTalHeD69 on July 20, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa a storm in a teacup is when someone gets upset over something that is trivial or not all that important. What you're saying is they should suspend or ban him for something that is not important. The real issue here is why the ICC seems to only want to fine players match fees, instead of a harsher punishment. CSA shrugged it off and so do many other cricket associations. If a player is caught, they tend to downplay it. What Russell Domingo said was true. Other teams tend to hide it better and we've seen it all over. It is an open secret that players do all sorts of dastardly tricks to get ahead. Some get caught, many don't. They should suspend Vernon for this but they won't. He gets a slap on the wrist.

  • on July 20, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    This is SA getting away with murder in Cricket. They did not have to do it after a piling up 450 plus in the first innings and having quality bowlers like Stayne and Morkel. It will be a black mark on their victory in Galle. I saw the footage and a child would say it was deliberate by Vernon. At one point he was hiding the ball from one hand and dining into it from the other. This cannot be tolerated and the penalty should be more harsh than just match fees penalties.

  • on July 20, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    match referee saw the footage, but did not alert on field umpires why? clearly ball should have been changed at that moment and he should not been allowed to bowl after that as like bowlers who runs on wicket twice. he tampered, more swing for steyn and more wicket for SA. they should have been banned for at least 3 matches.

  • duncanmoo on July 20, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    I too as a SA supporter am very disappointed at the win at all costs approach, really guys you are better than this. I know in the 90s and before players used to openly pick at the ball but we are a long way from that era.

  • Masking_Tape on July 20, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    How do you protect the image when the guilty party accepted his punishment and pleaded guilty? And why does SA board even have the power to ask the broadcasting crew that they cant air the footage? It should be ICC. Teams shouldn't be allowed to say what or what not to air!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 20, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    Vern should be suspended or banned. I saw the footage, total storm in a teacup.

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    as a Protea fan im shocked. this shouldnt happen in cricket. saying that.people are quick to point fingers. Sa won the game fair and square. if the icc thought that it would have affected the game they would have done something more about it. dont point the finger. all teams have got a naughty side to them. as for the game.yesterday sri lanka fans was all big headed but got brought back down to earth

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    While I thought Faf's Zippergate was completely overblown and he likely was just shining the ball too close to his zipper by accident, *this* incident is a completely different story. As a South African fan, I have absolutely no time for this. Vern should be suspended, at minimum, and the team should receive stronger penalties for their involvement, both on the field and off it (particularly for pressuring the broadcasters to keep the evidence hidden). This is ridiculous. Our lineup is easily good enough to pressure the opposition and take wickets regularly without this. Let's cut this out immediately.

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Having potent bowlers like Steyn , morkel , CSA shouldn't be encouraging there players to continue to get dirty . 3 incidents in 9 months CSA should be investigating and had those internal controls working effectively than that shame could have been avoided.

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Nice that the author highlighted the hidden agenda behind the Back-doors. Poor cricket and Poor thinking in the part of SA team. And no wonder Dale was able to stack up so many wickets in the post session with the older ball. This discussion has to be continued and fans should participate with their own countries view point. it will be better for the forum and will do justice. Its a pity so little fan attendance and following with the SA tour. I begin Wonder their cricket ethics is having a ADVERSE effect on their fan count...Good that Firdous has started a OPEN DISCUSSION Regarding these issues to bring forth the truth.

    KUDOS.. From INDIA

  • KingOwl on July 20, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Although I am a Sri Lankan, I tend to be a fan of the SA team as well. So, I find this a very unfortunate incident. There is no doubt that this takes away from the win. The match was won in the first inning and there is no doubt that reverse swing is a very potent weapon. Putting the two together, it leaves a rather bad taste.

  • KingOwl on July 20, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Although I am a Sri Lankan, I tend to be a fan of the SA team as well. So, I find this a very unfortunate incident. There is no doubt that this takes away from the win. The match was won in the first inning and there is no doubt that reverse swing is a very potent weapon. Putting the two together, it leaves a rather bad taste.

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Nice that the author highlighted the hidden agenda behind the Back-doors. Poor cricket and Poor thinking in the part of SA team. And no wonder Dale was able to stack up so many wickets in the post session with the older ball. This discussion has to be continued and fans should participate with their own countries view point. it will be better for the forum and will do justice. Its a pity so little fan attendance and following with the SA tour. I begin Wonder their cricket ethics is having a ADVERSE effect on their fan count...Good that Firdous has started a OPEN DISCUSSION Regarding these issues to bring forth the truth.

    KUDOS.. From INDIA

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Having potent bowlers like Steyn , morkel , CSA shouldn't be encouraging there players to continue to get dirty . 3 incidents in 9 months CSA should be investigating and had those internal controls working effectively than that shame could have been avoided.

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    While I thought Faf's Zippergate was completely overblown and he likely was just shining the ball too close to his zipper by accident, *this* incident is a completely different story. As a South African fan, I have absolutely no time for this. Vern should be suspended, at minimum, and the team should receive stronger penalties for their involvement, both on the field and off it (particularly for pressuring the broadcasters to keep the evidence hidden). This is ridiculous. Our lineup is easily good enough to pressure the opposition and take wickets regularly without this. Let's cut this out immediately.

  • on July 20, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    as a Protea fan im shocked. this shouldnt happen in cricket. saying that.people are quick to point fingers. Sa won the game fair and square. if the icc thought that it would have affected the game they would have done something more about it. dont point the finger. all teams have got a naughty side to them. as for the game.yesterday sri lanka fans was all big headed but got brought back down to earth

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 20, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    Vern should be suspended or banned. I saw the footage, total storm in a teacup.

  • Masking_Tape on July 20, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    How do you protect the image when the guilty party accepted his punishment and pleaded guilty? And why does SA board even have the power to ask the broadcasting crew that they cant air the footage? It should be ICC. Teams shouldn't be allowed to say what or what not to air!

  • duncanmoo on July 20, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    I too as a SA supporter am very disappointed at the win at all costs approach, really guys you are better than this. I know in the 90s and before players used to openly pick at the ball but we are a long way from that era.

  • on July 20, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    match referee saw the footage, but did not alert on field umpires why? clearly ball should have been changed at that moment and he should not been allowed to bowl after that as like bowlers who runs on wicket twice. he tampered, more swing for steyn and more wicket for SA. they should have been banned for at least 3 matches.

  • on July 20, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    This is SA getting away with murder in Cricket. They did not have to do it after a piling up 450 plus in the first innings and having quality bowlers like Stayne and Morkel. It will be a black mark on their victory in Galle. I saw the footage and a child would say it was deliberate by Vernon. At one point he was hiding the ball from one hand and dining into it from the other. This cannot be tolerated and the penalty should be more harsh than just match fees penalties.