Ashley Giles: England are not ball-tamperers

One-day coach angrily denies his players are cheating after Sky pundit Willis repeats rumours

England robustly denied yesterday accusations of ball-tampering to achieve reverse swing. Although there has been no official charge, sanction or report, the mutterings which have been around for a week have suddenly burst into the public domain.

Ashley Giles, the team’s one-day coach, said: “No, we don’t tamper with the ball. We play our cricket as hard as anyone else. All the headlines in the papers today are disappointing for us as a team.

“There’s even mention of one of our player’s specific roles, and that player is an extremely good cricketer, has had an extremely good series so far, and we’d like to let him concentrate on playing his cricket.”

The player Giles probably had in mind was Ravi Bopara, though he was careful not to name him. Bopara usually looks after the ball when he plays for England’s one-day side and is himself an adept practitioner of reverse swing. The skill is highly sought-after, and how it happens is a subject of perennial controversy. It was instrumental in England’s win over Australia in Birmingham eight days ago, when they achieved it early on, and again in their loss to Sri Lanka on Thursday, when they did not.

The second match brought the affair into the open. Alastair Cook, England’s captain, was irritated by the umpires’ decision to change the ball because it was out of shape. It had just started to reverse swing and its replacement refused to budge.

Bob Willis, the Sky Sports pundit and former England fast bowler, said on Friday that the umpire Aleem Dar was “on England’s case”.

Giles managed to conceal his understandable annoyance at the allegations. But it is a distraction he could have done without, as England must beat New Zealand today to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy. He said: “The most important thing for this team is winning that game of cricket, not what Bob Willis is saying.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test