Sunday, June 16, 2013

Did "working on the ball" at The Oval cross a line to illegality ?

England worked on the ball to improve its potential to swing. They always do. The question is not whether they did this, that's a fact, but whether it was illegal. In other words did "working on the ball" teeter over into "ball tampering". Here we are in the realm of conjecture.

Bob Willis's view is that a line was crossed and that the Umpires at The Oval clearly thought so too. These Umpires couldn't have been closer to the action. But, the allegation seems to be,  the Umpires, remembering Darryl Hare no doubt, went through a pantomimic pretence that they were checking to see if the ball had "gone out of shape" - we are into the use of the passive voice here! The shape changed not because someone actively made it happen but because of some serendipitous act of God (or Satan!).

The Umpires chose to avoid a bigger scandal and there was a cover-up of what really happened - that in essence is what Bob Willis alleges. 

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