Australians guilty of ball-tampering during Ashes, says Vaughan

Former England skipper is 'pretty sure' that the Cape Town Test wasn't the only time the Australians tampered with the ball.

Australia skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner after winning the 2017-18 Ashes.   -  Getty Images

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes some Australian players were guilty of ball tampering during the recently concluded Ashes series.

Australian cricket team drew a lot of flak after its captain Steve Smith and team-mate Cameron Bancroft broke, what Vaughan calls, "the one unwritten rule in the game by bringing in a piece or an object out there to tamper with the ball."

READ: ‘Smith’s career as captain is finished’

At the end of Day three against South Africa in Cape Town, Smith claimed that this was the "first time" such an act had taken place under his leadership. However, Vaughan differs with the statement. "I can't believe that this hasn't happened before," he told BBC Sport.

"I look at the amount of tape some of the fielders have worn, particularly during the Ashes series (2017-18) at mid-on and mid-off. I don't have to name names, but they know who they are. I am pretty sure that it (ball tampering) was going on throughout the Ashes."

England fast bowler Stuart Broad also felt that Australian pacers got the ball to reverse at a higher level than normal in the 4-0 Ashes defeat. "Look at the Ashes series we've just played, look through all of those Test matches and they reverse swing the ball sometimes in conditions you wouldn't expect the ball to reverse. So I don't understand why they've changed their method for this one game," Broad said on Sunday.

Smith was banned for a Test and penalised with 100 percent match fees by the International Cricket Council. He could yet face more severe sanctions in the form of losing his captaincy and a lengthier ban by Cricket Australia (CA) after its investigation into the matter.