Thanks to Bob Willis’ moaning about England “ball tampering” during the Champions Trophy and people looking for a story, the ICC have suddenly decided to “empower” umpires with regards to dealing with ball tampering. Umpires will now be free to act on any suspicions they have, regardless of any lack of eye witness or camera evidence.
By taking this decision, the ICC have both vindicated Darrell Hair’s stance in the now infamous Oval test of 2006 and also put themselves in a precarious position. In the Oval test Umpire Hair believed that the condition of the ball had been changed by Pakistan and awarded 5 penalty runs to England. Pakistan refused to take the field after tea and rightly forfeited the match, as the Laws of Cricket required.