Complications are arising from the Faf du Plessis ball tempering episode which has forced many people for rethinking over the rule. Yet the MCC world cricket committee has resisted in making any of changes to the Law 42.3. Du Plessis who is captain of South Africa was caught over camera of using a mint in his mouth for shining the ball during the recent Hobart Test.
ICC has found him guilty of ball-tempering, though du Plessis has appealed the verdict. Case has raised three issues with the law. Du Plessis has argued that the law is not clear, for instance how was Gatorade affected saliva was different from mint laden saliva?
Tempering of Ball: Is the Current Rule Clear Enough?
Even many players recently and long retired has admitted to be contravening the law while saying using lollies, mints and sweets was the lines which players themselves drew. Even if it was argued that the law is clear, policing of it especially the role of broadcaster was ambiguous.
They are required to show the conclusive proof of tempering as umpires can’t watch everything. They can just check the status of the ball every over and see how much its roughed up. Yet there is nothing like camera evidence. Question raises regarding the leakage from the broadcasters.
Mike Brearley, who is the chairmen of the MCC world cricket committee says, “We were slightly concerned about host broadcasters. That would happen whatever we were to say about the matter or whatever the matter were to be. They have to do things according to regulations and laws. Anyway people have to behave.”
Former cricketer who has worked with international broadcasters has talked regarding how the usual unofficial understanding was when they don’t follow the ball shiners and look away if the players from any team shine the ball. In other words, mints and lollies are not going to be much of a problem.
Need to Change Ball Tampering Laws:
In terms of bigger picture, committee has felt that there is no real need for changing ball tempering laws and were confident that current framing is good enough. Rameez Raja who is a member of the committee says, “Mike put it absolutely brilliantly, you must not get caught, it is as simple as that… Try to live within the perimeters as prescribed.”
He was perplexed that the mints and lozenges are being used. Further adding he says, “It was a first for me because we were brought up on just scratching the ball.”
MCC committee has recommended that the on field umpires are authorised to send off players if they are deemed to have threatened an umpire, physically assaulted another player, umpire, official or spectator or committed any other act of violence.
Under the existing law, catches and stumping’s are not permitted if ball touches any part of the helmet worn by the fielder or wicket-keeper. But MCC Cricket Committee proposes that such decisions should go to the bowler’s favour.