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michael knight
22 Dec 09 12:41
Date Joined: 08 Nov 05
| Topic/replies: 2,918 | Blogger: michael knight's blog
Yes I know, its a slow news day.

Central Districts coach Dermot Reeve has made the explosive claim that Auckland's English import Ravi Bopara tampered with the ball during his team's 20-run victory in Palmerston North on Sunday.

Reeve, who like Bopara is a former England international, said he witnessed Bopara picking at the seam in the one-day match at Fitzherbert Park in a bid to illegally create reverse swing.

Bopara, 24, has played 10 tests and 50 one-dayers for England and took 1-48 from 10 overs of medium pace after hitting 102.

"I would take an oath and swear on my children's lives, that I saw Ravi Bopara using his nails on the ball to help it swing," Reeve told The Dominion Post yesterday.

Bopara did not return calls yesterday but Auckland coach Paul Strang, a former Zimbabwe international, told the Manawatu Standard there was no wrongdoing from his side.

"It was a windy day, the ball does funny things," Strang said. "None of these concerns have been addressed to me. I think it might be sour grapes from one end."

Reeve, who says he watched Bopara through binoculars repeatedly tamper with the ball, laughed off Strang's explanation.

"What Strang is saying is ridiculous. A windy day? I know 100 per cent the ball was tampered with. I had the binoculars on him and I saw his nails in the ball on several occasions."

Auckland Cricket chief executive Andrew Eade told The Dominion Post it was a non-issue. "It's quite common for teams that lose to start looking for excuses," Eade said.

"Auckland doesn't doctor balls and there are umpires and systems in place to monitor sides that do."

Reeve said he raised the issue during the game through Auckland's 12th man and former Central player Richard Sherlock "because I wanted Bopara to realise that I knew what he was doing so that he might stop doing it".

Central captain Jamie How, who scored 94, let Reeve's claims pass through to the keeper.

How told the Manawatu Standard he did not notice anything out of the ordinary when he was batting and said the ball moving in the air was "part of the game".

Reeve said he confronted Bopara after the game but Bopara turned his back on him.

Reeve also approached umpire Gary Baxter who "said he'd had a word with [Auckland captain Gareth] Hopkins in the previous game [against Otago], because he thought something was going on".

"When I spoke to the umpires, they said `unless we actually see somebody putting their nails in or doing something to the ball, how can we prove it'? Unless an umpire has got the balls to stop Bopara in his run-up and just say `give me the ball right then', he'll see a raised quarter seam, causing reverse swing."
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New Zealand Cricket's umpires manager Rodger McHarg could not be reached for comment.

Reeve was also fuming after a Plunket Shield match between Auckland and Northern Districts earlier this month.

He believes the two provinces colluded in forfeiting their innings to produce a result in the heavily rain-affected game. A New Zealand Cricket investigation cleared the provinces of collusion.
Pause Switch to Standard View Dermot Reeve is seething.
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Report Yossarrian December 22, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
Dermot Reeve is a silly posh wally
Report Deadly Earnest December 22, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
If Reeve is right it seems English players **.
Report Innocent Bystander December 22, 2009 5:19 PM GMT
Does raising the quarter seam promote reverse swing? Now if he was taking a bottle top to one side of the ball it may have more substance
Report Innocent Bystander December 22, 2009 5:20 PM GMT
Although maybe he should have tried rubbing cocaine into the ball as an experiment, anyone know a dealer?
Report smeagors December 22, 2009 5:51 PM GMT
chris lewis .. oh sorry he's unavailable right now
Report Deadly Earnest December 22, 2009 5:57 PM GMT
Let us say from 'experiments' I have conducted in the past in my playing days, that anything that might create turbulance on the non shiny side will promote reverse swing, so a raised 1/4 seam would likely do the trick, or at least help.
Report michael knight December 22, 2009 6:18 PM GMT
May as well legalise it - its about time we did something to re-address the balance between bat and ball. Watching players like Waqar and Wasim reverse it was magnificent. (not that i'm suggesting they ball tampered)
Report michael knight December 22, 2009 6:20 PM GMT
Simon Jones in 'that' ashes series and Zaheer Khan against england in '07 are more recent examples of how exciting it can be.
Report smeagors December 22, 2009 6:22 PM GMT
simon jones roughed up the seam with his sharp welsh wit .. imo .. :)
Report good value losers December 22, 2009 7:23 PM GMT
this is just as relevant now as it was when written over a year ago. very grey area, altering the condition of the ball.
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