Atherton, Waqar, Du Plessis and now Bancroft - A brief history of ball tampering in cricket

Cameron Bancroft is not alone: The likes of Michael Atherton and Waqar Younis have previously been embroiled in ball-tampering controversy.

Cameron Bancroft addresses the media   -  Getty Images

Cameron Bancroft plunged cricket back into the murky and all-too familiar world of ball tampering on Saturday during day three of the third Test between South Africa and Australia.

Bancroft has been charged with "attempting to change the condition of the ball" during the second session in Cape Town after rubbing it with a piece of tape.

He quickly returned the tape to his pocket and then put it down the front of his trousers, before appearing to deny any wrongdoing when approached by the on-field umpires.

The Australian opener admitted the offence in a media conference at the end of the day, revealing he had used tape from his kit to pick up granules of dirt from the Newlands pitch to try and alter the ball.

His actions brought more unwanted attention on a series already reeling from David Warner and Quinton de Kock's altercation, as well as Kagiso Rabada's ban - subsequently reversed on appeal - for brushing shoulders with Steve Smith.

Bancroft is not the first to find himself caught up in a ball-tampering storm, and here we recall five previous incidents that have blighted the game.


Waqar Younis, Pakistan v South Africa, Colombo, 2000

Pakistan seamer Waqar was the first player to be fined and suspended for the offence in 2000, the bowler deemed to have tried to alter the shape of the ball during an ODI.

Waqar was handed a one-game ban and docked 50 per cent of his match fee, while Azhar Mahmood and captain Moin Khan were also reprimanded.


Michael Atherton, England v South Africa, Lord's, 1994

England skipper Atherton was caught on television cameras reaching into his pocket and rubbing a substance – later revealed to be dirt – onto the ball.

Atherton claimed the dirt was used to dry his hands, but was still found guilty and forced to pay a £2,000 fine.


Pakistan v England, The Oval, 2006

Day four of the fourth Test between England and Pakistan will be etched into the history of the game after the tourists refused to take the field after the tea break.

Inzamam-ul-Haq ordered his players to stay in the dressing room after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove ruled Pakistan had tampered with the ball.

England were awarded five penalty runs, but when Pakistan refused to return after 17 minutes the hosts were declared the winners by forfeiture.

Inzamam was later acquitted of ball tampering by ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle.


Vernon Philander, South Africa v Sri Lanka, Galle, 2014

Seamer Philander was found guilty of breaching the law by "scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb" during South Africa's first Test in Galle – a match they won by 153 runs.

Philander was fined 75 per cent of his match fee.


Faf du Plessis, Australia v South Africa, Hobart, 2016

Du Plessis was found guilty of ball tampering for a second time in three years during South Africa's tour of Australia, the skipper using saliva from a sweet to alter the ball's condition.

That came after his first sanction for the offence in Dubai in 2013 when he was found guilty of scuffing the ball against the zip on his trousers.

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