It wasn’t a pleasant morning for the English camp on the 4th day of the 4th Magellan Ashes Test at the MCG, as Jimmy Anderson was spotted running his fingernail down the quarter seam of the Kookabura ball.
The moment was captured during the rain break by Channel 9 early in the second innings of Australia. Later, it got viral and was posted on the official website of Cricket Australia.
From the news, the incident seemed to be no different than South African Test skipper Faf du Plessis’ applying saliva to the ball with a mint in his mouth during a Test match against Australia at Hobart earlier this year. He was fined 100 per cent of his match.
However, in this case, head coach of England, Trevor Bayliss, in the press conference justified the incident. He said, ball was in bad condition due to mud and wet outfield, as confirmed by the on field umpire Kumar Dharamsena.
Officially, it is allowed to clean and that’s what Jimmy was doing. Had he wanted to tamper the ball, he could have done on the rough side of the ball rather than shiny side. There was no problem at all. He also said, since England is in a commanding position, it was ‘Pommie – bashing’ (Criticism of Britain).
It was hard to accept from the opposition but we knew when we came here it would be 24 million versus 1. You’ve got to laugh it off.
After end of day 4, an ICC Official said, no official report was made about the incident. However, England Management was not too happy with the way the allegations were handled by the media.
Here is what former players had to say about the incident:
“I’m not sure you are allowed to use your fingernail there.”
– Shane Warne.
“That’s interesting; you can’t get your nail into the ball. That’s a no-no.”
– Michael Slater.
“Anderson might be asked to explain his actions to the match referee, Ranjan Madugalle.”
– Mike Hussey.