After England’s intense victory against Pakistan in the second ODI on Saturday, there was an investigation into possible ball tampering by Liam Plunkett.
JUST IN: The ICC has confirmed that the match officials are comfortable there was no attempt by Liam Plunkett to change the condition of the ball or any evidence of this on the over-by-over examinations of the ball throughout Saurday’s ODI clash in Southampton. pic.twitter.com/0gzwHq9s4h— ICC (@ICC) May 12, 2019
The investigation, was short and the match officials were happy that there was no attempt to change the balls condition while he was bowling during his last spell.
This has angered many Asian cricket fans saying that if this was an investigation into a Pakistani player or a player from an Asian country, a different verdict would have been reached.
This, I believe, is an over reaction by those fans. A lot of the recent high profile tampering cases have involved teams who don’t hail from Asia.
High profile cases:
First there was Faf du Plessis in two separate occasions, but the most high profile one was when Australia visited South Africa in 2016.
This was when he was fined his match fee from the second test after there was video evidence of du Plessis applying saliva onto the ball from a mint or a lolly.
No official complaint was made by the Australian Cricket board, but the ICC intervened and he was punished.
Then there was the infamous ‘sandpaper-gate’ involving the Australians.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all given 9 month bans for their obvious use of sandpaper to change the condition of the ball.
Not only were they punished for ball tampering, but they were also charged for bringing the game into disrepute.
This is one of the most high profile cases in the known history of ball tampering. Did it include anyone from an Asian country or any of Asian descent? No. It didn’t.
Non of these scenarios would suggest that there was any sense of bias in the ICC.
What the evidence shows:
It is startling to see the difference in opinions into the Plunkett case. It isn’t obvious in the evidence that people have collected from the match what was happening.
The ball when Plunkett was bowling was not as damaged as the ball at the end of the match when Chris Woakes came back to bowl his final overs.
The suspect action is when he looks to rub the seam with his index and middle fingers.
I’m in no position to pass official judgement, but from the looks of things, it is too hard to tell whether or not he is using his nails to rough up on side.
Plunkett was also bowling cross seam during his overs which could result in some roughness on one side of the ball, which could explain the damage.
From a spectator’s view:
Sitting in the crowd you wouldn’t have thought that there was any problem, but you could tell that there was damage on the ground.
I can also say that the umpires did check the ball after each over to make sure the condition was still good enough to bowl and they didn’t see any problems.
In what I have seen from the video evidence that people are posting online, they are taking footage from a Chris Woakes over to show the ball damage. What is that going to prove?
Why would Plunkett possibly do something that silly and put his place in the World Cup squad in doubt?
So, I guess my question is really is: Are the fans more biased than the ICC?