The ICC on Tuesday rejected allegations that Australian cricketers tampered with the ball during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart, saying that a review of the video footage did not throw up any evidence against the players.
The ICC had to issue a statement after the Sri Lanka's team management expressed concerns over footage it believed showed pacer Peter Siddle tampering with the ball during the first innings. The tourists' team manager Charith Senanayake said he had spoken with the International Cricket Council officials about the matter.
"The umpires frequently inspect the ball during play, and did so again after they had reviewed the video footage in question on Sunday. They found no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed," ICC match referee Chris Broad said in a statement.
"During the tea interval on that day, I spoke with Australia coach Mickey Arthur and told him that the umpires will continue to inspect the cricket ball regularly, and monitor the actions of all players," he said.
Sri Lanka lost the first Test by 137 runs today.
Broad said the Sri Lankan team management had been informed that there was no proof of ball-tampering against Australian players.
"I subsequently informed the Sri Lanka team management of my discussions with the Australia coach.
"In the opinion of the umpires, there was no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball was changed, or that the video or photographic evidence would support a charge under the Code of Conduct, so they will not be laying any charges relating to these incidents," he said.
Earlier, Sri Lanka's team manager Charith Senanayake had raised doubts that the ball was tampered with by Siddle.
"All that happened is we have had informal chats with the match referee about what happened about what we saw on TV -- everybody saw it -- and we just asked what action are you going to do about it, that's all," Senanayake told The Australian newspaper. "It's unofficial, but it's on video and the whole world has seen it so let's see what action they will take."
A still picture of the alleged incident has since surfaced on social media. "Management believes broadcast cameras may have captured Siddle using his fingernails to raise the seam of the ball in the 88th over of Sri Lanka's innings," the Cricinfo website said.
Sri Lanka's Daily News carried a report Monday that "two prominent (unidentified) Australians" were noticed allegedly tampering with the ball. "Now this is a serious matter and we understand that the Sri Lankan management had brought this ugly side of the game to the notice of the match referee," the newspaper's correspondent at the match reported.
"The players were seen trying to up the seam using their fingers so as to give undue advantage to their bowlers," it added.
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