ICC Rejects Hobart Ball-Tampering Allegations
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has moved quickly to quash media reports of ball tampering during the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka in Hobart.
ICC Elite Panel match referee Chris Broad issued a statement confirmed that no charges would be laid against any of the players.
The controversy emerged following Sri Lanka's first innings, when Peter Siddle and another Australian player were alleged to have tampered with the ball by picking the seam.
Australia went on to win the match by 137 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
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"The umpires frequently inspect the ball during play, and did so again after they had reviewed the video footage in question on Sunday. They found no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed," Broad said.
"During the tea interval on that day, I spoke with Australia coach Mickey Arthur and told him that the umpires will continue to inspect the cricket ball regularly, and monitor the actions of all players.
"I subsequently informed the Sri Lanka team management of my discussions with the Australia coach.
"In the opinion of the umpires, there was no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball was changed, or that the video or photographic evidence would support a charge under the Code of Conduct, so they will not be laying any charges relating to these incidents."
Controversy between Australia and Sri Lanka is unfortunately nothing new. In 1995, Muttiah Muralitharan was called for throwing during his country's tour of Australia and in 2007, the last time Sri Lanka played in Hobart, Kumar Sangakkara was given out after he was caught via his helmet.
Three years later, in 2010, visiting captain Shahid Afridi was banned after he was caught biting the ball in Australia, four years after Pakistan forfeited the Oval Test against England having refused to take the field of play after they were docked runs for ball tampering.
The second Test gets underway in Melbourne on 26th December.
© Cricket World 2012
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