SuperSport Series

Another SA cricket scandal

2011-10-31 22:27
Ashwell Prince (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Another scandal has hit South African cricket after allegations of ball tampering during a four-day SuperSport Series match between the Knights and the Warriors in Kimberley over the weekend.

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The Knights are accused of ball tampering during the Warriors' first innings when they lost five wickets inside five overs after being solidly placed at 107/2. They were eventually bowled out for 206 and the Knights won the game by a mammoth 211 runs.

The Volksblad newspaper reports that the Warriors apparently wanted the ball to be replaced after their batting collapse, but the Knights refused. This prompted the Warriors - with Protea batsman Ashwell Prince at the helm - to refuse to appear from their dressing room after the tea-interval. Play was only resumed some 40 minutes later when the match referee, Cyril Mitchley, intervened.

The CEO's of the Knights and the Warriors (Johan van Heerden and Dave Emslie), as well as both teams' coaches (Sarel Cilliers and Piet Botha) and captains (Morné van Wyk and Jon-Jon Smuts) will appear before Cricket South Africa's legal council in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Riaan Cloete - a member of CSA's legal committee - will appear as the mediator between the teams and decide if any further action needs to be taken.

CSA has been in the news this year after a so-called bonus scandal, which has cost CSA some major sponsorship deals.

Prince has been labelled as one of the players who did not behave "in accordance with the spirit of the game" after he apparently made himself guilty of unsportsmanlike behaviour in the Knights' second innings when he walked to fetch balls dispatched to the boundary. Some of the players also refused to shake hands after the match.

The two umpires during the match - Karl Hurter and Adrian Holdstock - said they picked up "nothing strange" and there's "no evidence to back up the Warriors' claims".

The Knights strictly deny the claims and are adament that reverse swing contributed to the Warriors' batting collapse. They are requesting a written apology from the Warriors.

"The ball was of a poor quality. The leather came off and it quickly became soft," the Knights told Sport24.

"We did nothing wrong and their (the Warriors') initial refusal to play on and their subsequent behaviour is a blatant transgression of the game's disciplinary rules."

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