Former New Zealand pacer and renowned cricket Commentator Danny Morrison, who is currently in India as part of the commentary panel for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, has claimed that the “tampering with the ball is nothing new in the cricket world”.
He went on to further reveal that the Kiwis altered the condition of the ball by using a bottle top during New Zealand’s Pakistan tour in 1990.
As per reports in The Hindu, Danny Morrison has revealed on Friday (20 April) that the Black Caps had to go through such conditions in Pakistan where the track was totally against the bowlers and they had to tamper with the ball in a bid to “seek to swing and reverse the ball with speed.”
The 52-year-old former Kiwi pacer has played 48 Tests and bagged 160 wickets, while 96 ODIs and 126 wickets for the Kiwis in his a decade-long international career.
The outswinger told reporters, “When the pitches are like table tops, the pacemen will seek to swing and reverse the ball with speed and teams will seek to get the most out of the ball.”
Morrison remembered, “We went berserk at Faisalabad. There were no neutral umpires, only home umpires, and no match referee. We got a bottle top during practice and Martin Crowe was like a kid in a candy shop. Martin used to bowl inswingers only. When we scratched the ball up, he could bowl booming outswingers. He was very excited.”
Morrison, who is famous for taking a hat-trick in a One Day International (ODI) against India in 1994, further added on the same, “Then, we tried it in the Test. Chris Pringle got a seven-for and I got some wickets too. It was probably like the Aussies today, but on a different scale. We were angry that the Pakistanis were doing it. We were naughty too in retaliation.”
Shifting his thought to Australia’s ball-tampering row in South Africa, which saw Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft banned from cricket, Morrison opined, “Frustratingly for the Aussies, they got sucked in. Everyone subtly does it. South Africa was just a little more sharper, more subtle about it. Everyone knows it, a lot do it. Scratching it with thumbnails, a little bit of dirt on it sometimes, Faf du Plessis and the lozenges, they said the English were doing it in the Ashes series in 2005 with the lozenges. The umpires too, know that players get up to different means of getting the ball to age faster.”
However, the commentator is satisfied with the Cricket Australia’s verdict over the saga, saying: “A strong message had to be sent.”
He further explained, “The ball is your weapon. That is your piece of the arsenal. Yeah, the bowlers will have to know, whose job it is to maintain it, there are specialists at getting it roughed up. The whole thing about getting to Bancroft through Warner to ‘look after the ball’ was that because the cameras will not be on him so much because he was a young, new guy and the cameras would be on the senior guys.”
Morrison believes that the tampering with the ball will continue, and signed off by saying, “Like, in any walk of life, there are people always willing to take shortcuts.”