Cricket: NZ cameramen on spy mission

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A TELEVISION company in Auckland has resorted to its own brand of espionage by offering a reward for the first cameramen to capture on film any incidence of ball-tampering during the forthcoming Test series between New Zealand and Pakistan.

John Knowles, head of sport at Television New Zealand, told a news conference the station had special plans for the Pakistani tour in December and January after allegations - strongly denied - of ball-tampering by Pakistan bowlers during this summer's acrimonious tour of England.

Pakistani bowlers have been accused of using bottletops to rough up the surface of cricket balls and make them swing in the air. 'There will be a pounds 250 reward for the first cameraman to pick up a bottletop,' Knowles said.

Pakistan will play three one-day internationals and a Test match between 26 December and 6 January 6. Peter McDermott, chairman of the New Zealand Cricket Board of Control, said New Zealand umpires would pay close attention to Pakistani bowlers during the tour.

Western Australia's captain, Geoff Marsh, scored 121 in his side's 260 for 7 on the first day of the Sheffield Shield match against Queensland at the Gabba yesterday. Marsh, who lost his Test place last summer, was watched by the national selector, Bob Simpson.