Alastair Cook denies ball-tampering allegations

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The Independent Online

Alastair Cook has vehemently denied Umar Gul's accusation that England bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson have engaged in ball-tampering.

Gul was quoted by the PakPassion website claiming Anderson tampered with the ball during Pakistan's controversial 2010 tour of England and that Broad did the same in the most recent Ashes series in Australia.



The Pakistan right-armer has since clarified his comments in a statement to the same website, claiming he intended them to mean that any bowler could be accused of ball-tampering.



But England one-day skipper Cook hit back at the 27-year-old's claims today, saying: "We certainly haven't tampered with the ball and if he did have any complaints he should have gone to the ICC over that.



"I think he has almost said himself that it has been a bit of a mountain out of a molehill."



Gul came out with accusation that Broad and Anderson illegally tampered with the ball after reading retired Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar's autobiography, which contains a confession that he took part in ball tampering during his career.



Cook was speaking at London Heathrow airport ahead of his team's departure to India, where they will play five 50-over games and one Twenty20 over the next four weeks.



Cook led the ODI team to a 3-0 win over the Indians in England this summer after Andrew Strauss had skippered the team to a 5-0 Test whitewash.



Cook admits playing the 50-over world champions on their own soil will be a much harder task, but has still backed his men to win.



"I certainly think we can beat India," Cook said.



"It will be incredibly tough. We need everyone to be playing very well.



"We all know what the one-day crowds are like over there. They love their cricket.



"Delivering our skills when 50,000 or 60,000 people are screaming and when balls are flying all over the place will also be a key factor, but certainly with this squad I think we can do something really special."



PA

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