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
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee