Tampering the cricket ball is a punishable offence in the eyes of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Despite the bans and penalties imposed on various international entities, cricketers have often involved themselves in an unfair practice.
Players such as Faf du Plessis, Michael Atherton, Adam Parore, and even Indian greats Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar have been probed for tampering with the cricket ball.
They have used foreign objects such as mints, vaselines, and even bottle openers to alter the nature of the ball assisting their bowlers for generating movement.
The cricketing world received a significant jolt, when live cameras caught Cameron Bancroft using sandpaper on the cricket ball, for which he received a ban along with captain Steve Smith and David Warner, by Cricket Australia (CA).
One of the most notorious cricketers involved in such practices was former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi. During one of the Test matches between Pakistan and England, back in 2005, Afridi was caught on live television, scruffing up the pitch with his spikes, to help spinners on the deteriorating pitch.
To which, former England batsman, Kevin Pietersen objected later. Five years down the line, he repeated his antics in Perth, during the fifth and the final ODI against Australia in 2010, by biting and removing the seam off the ball.
In between overs, broadcasters caught Afridi, without any fear, biting and removing the seam of the ball, and handing over to his bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.
“I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match, one match. No team in the world doesn’t tamper with the ball. My methods were wrong. I am embarrassed, I shouldn’t have done it. I just wanted to win us a game, but this was the wrong way to do it,” Afridi told Geo TV when the incident unfolded.
However, after stating about trying to smell the ball, he later pleaded guilty for his actions. Afridi also received a two-match ban.
Here’s the video: