ICC match referee Chris Broad has said there was no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed by Australia during the Hobart Test, after Sri Lanka had expressed concerns over alleged tampering. Broad said the umpires had reviewed the video footage and will not lay charges.
"The umpires frequently inspect the ball during play, and did so again after they had reviewed the video footage in question on Sunday [third day]. They found no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed," Broad said after Australia won the first Test by 137 runs. "During the tea interval on that day, I spoke with Australia coach Mickey Arthur and told him that the umpires will continue to inspect the cricket ball regularly, and monitor the actions of all players.
"I subsequently informed the Sri Lanka team management of my discussions with the Australia coach. In the opinion of the umpires, there was no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball was changed, or that the video or photographic evidence would support a charge under the Code of Conduct, so they will not be laying any charges relating to these incidents."
Sri Lanka's team management had expressed concerns over footage it believed showed Peter Siddle tampering with the ball in their first innings.
They alleged that broadcast cameras might have captured Siddle using his fingernails to raise the seam of the ball in the 88th over of Sri Lanka's innings, while bowling to Prasanna Jayawardene. According to the team manager Charith Senanayake, their suspicions had been raised in the dressing room as they received the video-feed in real time, in the second session on day three. However, the visitors did not make an official complaint to the match referee.
"We have the footage with us," Senanayake had said. "We recorded the game and it's there for everybody to see. We saw something illegal and have reacted to that. I have spoken to the match referee informally. It's up to them to act now, but we will have to pursue it further if nothing happens."
Senanayake had also drawn attention to another incident much earlier in the innings. He alleged the team had noticed tampering soon after Dimuth Karunaratne's dismissal in the 10th over. "It didn't just happen in the 88th over, it also happened at the beginning of the innings when our first opener got out ... they were picking the seam," Senanayake told News Ltd. "I went straight into [Broad's] room when the match was over and asked him if he is watching the same game I am watching. [He] said, 'Yes, we have seen it' and I left it at that."
A Cricket Australia spokesman had declined to comment. "This is a matter for Sri Lanka and the ICC," he said.
0730 GMT The story was updated after the ICC issued a statement with match referee Chris Broad's comments