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Michael Vaughan 'pretty sure' ball-tampering took place during winter Ashes
London, Mar 27 (IBNS): Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has said he is 'pretty sure' that Australians did ball-tampering during the recently held Ashes series which England lost 4-0.
Vaughan made the remark just days after ball-tampering scam hit the Australian squad during the third Test against South Africa.
Vaughan, who captained England to an Ashes series victory in 2005, told BBC Sport: "I cannot think that has been come up with over lunch in Cape Town."
"I look at the amount of tape some of the fielders have worn, particularly during the Ashes series at mid-on and mid-off. You don't have to name names, they know who they are," he said.
"I am pretty sure it was going on throughout the Ashes series - but it was not the reason England lost 4-0. They still would have lost the series," the former English cricketer said.
The ICC on Sunday said Australia captain Steve Smith, who had stepped down during the third Test match against South Africa, has been given one-match suspension and fined 100 percent of his match fee.
The move was made following allegations of ball- tampering was labelled against him.
He will now miss the fourth Test match against South Africa which is scheduled to be played in Johannesburg from Mar 30 to Apr 3.
South Africa defeated Australia to take 2-1 lead in the series.
Additionally, Australia opener Cameron Bancroft has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day’s play on Saturday.
Bancroft admitted that he breached Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3.” and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, and as such there was no need for a formal hearing.
The incident that led to the charges being laid took place during South Africa’s innings on Saturday afternoon when Bancroft was seen on television holding a foreign object while rubbing the ball, before hiding the object in his pocket, then inside his trousers.
As soon as the incident was shown on the giant screen, the player was questioned in the presence of his captain Steve Smith by the two on-field umpires, Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong, who, along with third umpire Ian Gould and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar, later charged Bancroft.
The umpires inspected the ball at that time and elected not to replace the ball and award a 5-run penalty as they could not see any marks on the ball that suggested that its condition had been changed as a direct result of Bancroft’s actions.
The umpires though agreed that Bancroft’s actions were likely to alter the condition of the ball and he was therefore charged under Article 2.2.9.
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