South Africa’s second Test with Pakistan has run into controversy on day three with the Proteas penalised for ball tampering in Dubai.
The on-field umpires, Ian Gould and Rod Tucker, deeming that the condition of the ball had been deliberately altered, changed the ball and applied a five-run penalty to South Africa.
However that may not be the end of things for the visiting side, as an ICC spokesman has confirmed that any player reported for ball tampering is automatically required to attend a hearing with the match referee after the game.
At the end of the 30th over, with Pakistan 67 for 3 and requiring another 355 runs to even make South Africa bat again, Proteas captain Graeme Smith was called over by the umpires and told they had decided to enforce five penalty runs.
“As per 42.1 of the ICC playing conditions, the umpires replaced the ball and fined the South Africa team five penalty runs for ball tampering,” an ICC spokesperson confirmed.
A South African player is yet to be charged with anything although video replays appeared to show Vernon Philander digging his nail into the ball and Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball on a zip on his whites.
According to ICC regulations the umpires have to report the incident to the match referee, in this case David Boon, who is expected to call a hearing after play.
Playing regulation 42.1 (e) reads: “Together with the other umpire report the incident to the ICC match referee who shall take action as is appropriate against the player(s) responsible for the conduct under the ICC code of conduct.
“If the ICC match referee is unable to identify the player(s) responsible for such conduct, the captain shall take responsibility and will be subject to such action as is appropriate under the ICC code of conduct.”
Under the ICC’s code of conduct, altering the condition of the ball is a level two offence, carrying a penalty of 50 per cent to 100 per cent of their match fee and/or suspension from one Test or two one-day internationals for a first offence.