Former South Africa player and Afrikaans commentator Fanie de Villiers has claimed that he was the one to ask the cameraman for ball tampering by the Australians on day three of the third Test. He said that he suspected that Australians were using some underhand strategies.
De Villiers said that he was surprised by the early reverse swing that Australian bowlers were getting and asked the cameraman to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
His suspicions came true when Cameron Bancroft was caught on video using yellow tape to scratch the ball and when informed that he was caught, hid the tape in his trousers.
"I said earlier on, that if they could get reverse swing in the 26th, 27th, 28th over then they are doing something different from what everyone else does," de Villiers told RSN Radio. “We actually said to our cameramen, 'go out [and] have a look, boys. They’re using something.”
Fanie de Villiers further said, "They searched for an hour and a half until they saw something and then they started following Bancroft and they actually caught him out at the end. It’s impossible for the ball to get altered like that on cricket wickets where we knew there was grass on, not a Pakistani wicket where there’s cracks every centimetre.We’re talking about a grass-covered wicket where you have to do something else to alter the shape, to alter the roughness of the ball on the one side. You have to get the one side wetter, heavier than the other side."
De Villiers is famous for winning a improbable game for South Africa against Australia at MCG in 1994.
“Australian teams getting reverse swing before the 30th over, they had to do something. If you use a cricket ball and scratch it against a normal iron or steel gate or anything, anything steel on it, it reverse swings immediately. That’s the kind of extra alteration you need to do," De Villiers said.