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Did Ball tempering issue derailed the reputation of the Australian Cricket Team ?- Comment

Ball tampering, an issue which came in limelight recently when Cameron Bancroft, an Australian cricketer tried to alter the condition of the ball by rubbing its one side with the sandpaper made out of a yellow tape; has faced a lot of criticism from the lovers of a highly reputed game called cricket. Australian cricket team which is one of the first two teams to play this gentlemen's game has faced a lot of disdain when Bancroft incident was spotted and it was found that it was a part of the team plan executed by Captain Steve Smith Vice-captain David Warner and batting specialist Cameron Bancroft. Captain and Vice-captain have been charged with the ban of a year while Bancroft with 9 months.

Ball tampering is an incident when a player tries to alter the condition of the ball to change the aerodynamics of the ball trajectory. The ball gets a lot of swing by itself when it is new and its surface is shiny but when its shine wears off it stops swinging much and makes it easy for the batsman to play the ball. To keep getting the swing, fielding team tries to keep shine of one side of the ball intact so that bowler can get reverse swing i.e. swing in opposite direction viz. an inswinger will now be an outswinger and vice versa for which they are allowed to use sweat or saliva; and rough the other side as much as possible but not by rubbing any strange object. After doing this ball moves in the direction of the shiny surface as it is heavy because of fluid used. But in the aforementioned event, Bancroft tried to make one side of the ball rough using sandpaper made out a yellow tape which is not allowed as per rule.

Australian cricket team which has started this sport and cricket has been a part of their culture over years and have a reputation of producing cricketers of Bradman and Steve Waugh stature and have dominated this game for a long period of time. But this incident which was executed against South African cricket team has shamed the reputed team and has made a dark spot on the bright reputation of one of the oldest savior of this gentleman game.

It is not the first incident of ball tampering. Several times in the past such incidents have taken place when players tried to alter the condition of the ball, for example, an incident, when Shahid Afridi bite the ball to change the shape of the ball. Cricket having the reputation of a gentleman game needs to maintain the game spirit and any such incident should not be tolerated. This incident has surely put a dark spot on Australian team reputation but the ban which followed shows that the oldest savior of the sport will not tolerate any such incident and has given a strict message to the offenders of the game and has warned not to cross the limit in the heat of the moment. It was a bit harsh to ban a player for 1 year when his career was on peak(Smith was no. 1 player in test ranking and Warner was also in great form. But sometimes the patient needs bitter medicine. This incident has put a dark spot which will haunt Australian cricket for a long time but is a great lesson for other offenders who are ready to cross any limit for winning the game. Hope this incident will act like a blessing in disguise and gentlemen's game will cherish to a new height after this incident.

-Prasoon chuadhary