Now, umpires have powers to curb ball tampering

The ICC Board during its annual conference - here on Saturday, accepted its Chief Executive Committee’s (CEC) recommendations on curbing ball tampering.

The CEC recommended that when the umpire believes the ball has been tampered with but there is no eye witness then the umpire must replace the ball and give the captain a first and the final warning.

The umpire can also award a five-run penalty to the batting team, replace the ball (with the batsman to choose) and report the captain under the ICC Code of Conduct.

The decision comes in the wake of controversy when umpires Aleem Dar and Billy Bowden initiated a ball change while England were in the field against New Zealand during the Champions Trophy at The Oval.

There was much conjecture afterwards, with former England captain Bob Willis contending an England player had scratched the ball — a claim strongly denied by coach Ashley Giles, while the ICC saw no reason to investigate further on the basis of the umpires’ report.

Among other recommendations, the CEC said that TV umpire review of a no-ball at the fall of a wicket can now include waist-high full tosses and bouncers above shoulder height.

Zing wickets (with flashing LEDs in the bails and stumps) were approved for use in ODI and T20I matches subject to an independent assessment of the technology being received by the ICC. The new ICC Playing Conditions will come into effect from October 1. 

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