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Top 5 Ball-Tampering Incidents in Cricket History

One of the most contentious issues that has plagued cricket is ball-tampering. Manipulating the condition of the cricket ball provides an unfair advantage to the bowling team. Here, we delve into the top five ball-tampering incidents.

CYS Desk
Last updated: 30.04.2024
Ball Tampering incidents in cricket history

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Cricket, often referred to as the "gentleman's game," has had its fair share of controversies over the years, and one of the most contentious issues that has plagued the sport is ball-tampering. Manipulating the condition of the cricket ball to gain an unfair advantage has sparked outrage and tarnished the reputation of players and teams alike. 

Here, we delve into the top five ball-tampering incidents that sent shockwaves through the cricketing world.   

The Sandpaper Gate (2018):   


The infamous Sandpaper Gate incident during the third Test match between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town in March 2018 remains one of the most notorious ball-tampering scandals in cricket history. Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the match. It was later revealed that Bancroft had been instructed to carry out the act by then-captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner. The incident resulted in severe repercussions, with Smith and Warner being stripped of their leadership positions and handed lengthy bans from international and domestic cricket.

The Ball-Tampering Controversy Forced 1st-ever Test Forfeiture (2006):  

In a Test match between England and Pakistan at The Oval in August 2006, Pakistan were accused of ball-tampering. Umpire Darrell Hair penalized Pakistan by awarding England five penalty runs and offering them a new ball. Pakistan refused to take the field after tea, and the match was awarded to England. It was a first-ever Test forfeiture. The controversy erupted when television cameras captured footage of Pakistani players allegedly using a metal object, believed to be a mint, to alter the condition of the ball. The incident led to widespread condemnation and strained diplomatic relations between the two cricketing nations.

The Lollygate (2016):  

During a Test match between Australia and South Africa in Hobart in November 2016, South African captain Faf du Plessis was charged with ball-tampering after he was seen shining the ball with mint saliva. Despite vehemently denying any wrongdoing, du Plessis was found guilty and fined his match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The incident stirred controversy and reignited debates surrounding the use of saliva and other substances to shine the ball.

The Biting Incident (2010):  

In another ball-tampering controversy involving Pakistan, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was seen biting the ball in an ODI against Australia at the WACA in Perth. He was captaining the side in the absence of Mohammad Yousuf, and he was banned for two games after this incident. 

The Bottle Cap Gate (2019):  

During a One-Day International (ODI) match between Pakistan and England at Trent Bridge in May 2019, a video surfaced on social media showing Pakistan bowler Wahab Riaz allegedly tampering with the ball using a bottle cap. The footage sparked widespread outrage and prompted an investigation by the ICC. However, Riaz denied any wrongdoing, attributing the incident to a misunderstanding. Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, the controversy added fuel to the ongoing debate surrounding ball-tampering in cricket.

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