England in SA

Ball issue rumbles on

2010-01-06 20:27
AB de Villiers (File)

Cape Town - The row over alleged attempts by England to alter the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Castle Lager Test between England and South Africa continued into the fourth day on Wednesday.

Proteas media manager Michael Owen-Smith revealed on Tuesday that the South African team management had raised its concerns about the condition of the ball with the match referee, Roshan Mahanama.

Television footage during the day showed fast bowler Stuart Broad with his boot on the ball, and fellow paceman James Anderson apparently picking at the seam.

Mahanama told the South African team that he had investigated the matter, and that no further action would be taken.

Team manager Dr Mohammed Mosajee said on Wednesday that South Africa was happy with the referee’s decision. He said South Africa had not lodged an official complaint. “We made no insinuation about ball tampering,” Mosajee said.

“All we did was raise our concerns with the match referee about the condition of the ball.

“If you looked on television, you could see the ball was altered. There was an indentation on the ball and the shape had changed.”

Mosajee said he did not believe the row had damaged relations between the two teams.

However, South African batsman AB de Villiers said he thought the issue should be looked at.

“You could clearly see a bit of leather missing after he (Broad) had stood on it. It was a little bit naughty – I think it should be looked at.”

De Villiers said all teams took care of the ball and tried to get it to reverse swing as early as possible, as long as it was done in a legal way.

“It’s not on to be climbing onto the ball with your spikes,” he said.

England opener Alastair Cook said England were happy that they had done nothing wrong.

“We’re just glad the matter is closed,” he said. “We’ve moved on from that.”

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