Galle, July 19: Ball tampering row has hit South Africa again. The Proteas' paceman Vernon Philander has been found guilty of changing the condition of the ball by "scratching the surface with his fingers and thumb" during the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
ICC has acted quickly, on the third day of the match and has fined the fast bowler 75 per cent of his match fee. Another South African, Faf du Plessis too was fined for ball tampering during a Test against Pakistan in October last year. Then, Du Plessis had rubbed the ball near to the zipper of his trouser pocket. The team was penalised five runs during the match and the ball was changed.
"South Africa's Vernon Philander has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee after breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day's play in the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Galle," ICC said in a media statement on Friday (July 18).
Maybe because of the change in condition of the ball, Dale Steyn was able to achieve substantial reverse swing in the final session and took three wickets in five overs as Sri Lanka ended Friday's play at 283/9 in 100 overs. Steyn finished with a five-wicket haul yesterday (July 18).
"Philander was charged with an article 2.2.9 offence of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to "changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket, as modified by ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and Twenty20 International Match Playing Conditions clause 42.1," ICC added.
The charge was laid following the conclusion of Friday's play and after viewing television footage by on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough, third umpire Nigel Llong, all from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, fourth umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge as well as match referee Jeff Crowe.
The incident that led to the charge being laid took place in the afternoon when Philander was captured on footage changing the condition of the ball by scratching the surface with his fingers and thumb. The footage, which was not aired during live coverage, was viewed by the umpires after the close of play.
The penalty was accepted by Philander without contest so there was no need for a hearing.
Penalties for offences included in Level 2 of ICC Code of Conduct can range from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of a player's match fee and/or two Suspension Points. Two Suspension Points equates to a ban of one Test, or two ODIs, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player.