Key players from all cricketing nations in long history of tampering

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The Independent Online

Ball tampering is one of cricket's most emotive issues and has probably been going on in various guises since the game was invented.

The laws of the game permit only bodily substances to be applied to the ball but the use of lip salve, sun cream, hair gel or sugar from sweets to aid swing goes on surreptitiously at all levels around the world. Former England captain Michael Atherton has written in the past about a 12th man whose naivety was exposed when he brought out sugar-free gum to the players in the middle.

There have also been a couple of eyebrow-raising incidents of players dropping sweets caught on camera. Atherton, of course, was at the centre of one of England's most notorious ball-tampering storms when he was caught applying dirt to the leather during a series against South Africa in 1994.

The matter provoked a huge furore, although much of that was due to the fact that Atherton - who had simply been trying to dry the ball rather than alter it - lied to the match referee.

The lifting of the seam or quarter seam to increase movement is also nothing new and in recent times the practice of roughing up one side of the ball to influence reverse swing has become one of the game's more heinous crimes.

There have been many allegations of gouging or scratching over the years and Pakistan have been at the centre of a number of accusations. The most infamous series of claims and counter-claims arose from Pakistan's visit to England in 1992 when the brilliance of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Aqib Javed led to unfounded allegations. Nothing was ever proven but the arguments spawned legal wrangles involving Pakistanis Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz and former England players Ian Botham and Allan Lamb that ended up in the High Court.

Waqar was suspended for a one-day international in 2000 after being spotted scratching the seam and more recently Shoaib Akhtar has been caught in the act.

Even cricketing gods such as Indian pair Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have been punished under rules on ball tampering.

Tendulkar was handed a suspended one-game ban after being caught on camera doing something to a ball in a Test in South Africa in 2001 and Dravid was caught applying sugary saliva in 2004.

There were two controversies in English domestic cricket last season with Gloucestershire's Steve Kirby accused of opportunistically scuffing a ball that had been hit into a car park and Surrey launching an internal inquiry after another incident.

The investigation failed to find a culprit but the county accepted an eight-point deduction that ultimately had a bearing on their relegation from the first division of the championship.

Playing the ball: Fines, suspensions and bans have failed to stop some bowlers from trying to gain an illegal edge by tampering

* 1992 One Day International: England v Pakistan, Lord's. England's suspicions were aroused by prodigious reverse swing, but nothing was proved.

1993-1994 Test: South Africa v Australia: There were accusations and photo evidence of S Africa bowlers picking at the ball (no further action wastaken).

1994 Test: England v South Africa, Lord's. Atherton guilty of 'Dirt in Pocket' (Fined £2,000 for not admitting to having dirt in pocket. And £1,000 for having dirt in pocket).

1996 Series: England v Pakistan: Javed Burki later admitted tampering had taken place (no action was taken).

2000 ODI: South Africa v Pakistan: Waqar first to be fined for bt. (Waqar suspended one match, fined 50 per cent of match fee; Azhar Mahmood also fined, 30 per cent of match fee).

Nov 2001: Test: South Africa v India, second Test. Tendulkar was found guilty of 'acting on the ball' (Given suspended one match ban; fined 75 per cent of match fee by Mike Denness)

Nov 2002: Test: Zimbabwe v Pakistan, first test. Shoaib Akhtar. (Shoaib reprimanded)

Nov 2002: Domestic: The Pakistan Cricket Board fines six players, including Yasir Arafat and Rao Iftikhar Anjum for ball tampering in Ramadan Cup.

May 2003 ODI: Pakistan v NZ: Shoaib Akhtar guilty (Banned for two ODIs and fined 75 per cent of his match fee).

Jan 2004 ODI: India v Zimbabwe (Brisbane) Rahul Dravid found guilty (Fined 50 per cent of match fee).

April 2004: Abdul Qadir claims: "The ball has always been made up [tampered] by Pakistani fast bowlers, but with so much scrutiny on this series, this has not been possible. Even against Bangladesh, the fast bowlers were unsuccessful till after a break, [when] wickets fell in a heap."

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