Tourists are cleared of ball-tampering

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The Independent Online
The International Cricket Council has cleared Sri Lanka of charges of ball tampering during their first Test defeat by Australia at Perth earlier this month and criticised the umpires involved.

The decision ended a row that was overshadowing the second Test, which starts in Melbourne on Tuesday, and it was described by Sri Lanka's captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, as morale- boosting.

"It's really good that this has been done," Ranatunga told reporters in Melbourne. "We were very keen to clear our name."

Peter Parker and Pakistan's Khizer Hayat, the umpires in the first Test, told Ranatunga at the time that the ball had "clearly been altered" by a member or members of his team during Australia's first innings in Perth. But the decision by the umpires not to replace the ball was criticised in the ICC statement. The laws of the game state that if a ball is judged to have been altered, it should be changed.