- The Australian ball tampering saga that has stunned world cricket this week
has brought numerous issues to the fore.
The biggest question marks have
perhaps hung over the ICC and their implementation of the demerit point
Despite confessions to the
offence from both Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft on Saturday, Smith was
banned for just one Test by the ICC while Bancroft received just three demerit
The real punishment instead came
from an internal investigation from Cricket Australia, who have suspended Smith
and David Warner for a year and
Bancroft for nine months.
The incident has seen numerous
critics call for the ICC to rethink their demerit points system.
The nature of the act has also
caused many to question how prominent ball-tampering really is in
The Aussies may have been caught
now, but there are understandably those who doubt that this was the first time
they had engaged in the dark arts.
How long has it been going on
for? Does every team work on the ball in some way?
Proteas coach Ottis Gibson offered some insight into
the practice of getting the ball to reverse, and he acknowledges that
"every team" does what they can.
"Every team has tried to get
the ball reversing," Gibson explained.
"They skim (the ball) in,
they bounce it in, the spinner gets his hands in the dirt and rubs it on the
ball … everybody has a way of getting the ball to go a little bit further.
"The ball will reverse
naturally and then everybody has a way of getting it to go further."
The key, obviously, is to act
within the laws of the game.
Since the beginning of the series
between the Proteas and Australia, both sides have referred to the
"line" and what it means to cross it.
When it comes to what is
acceptable and what is not in terms of working on the ball, Gibson believes
that South Africa are well-versed.
"I would hope that it never
happens under my watch," he said of the nature of the Australian incident.
"I’m not going to sit here
and say that we’re whiter than white or anything. We’ll try and play the game
within the rules all the time.
"The imaginary line that has
been talked about for the whole series … we feel like we know where that is and
we’ll make sure that we never cross that line."
The fourth and final Test of the
series gets underway in Johannesburg on Friday.