Aussies deny fresh ball-tampering claims
THE Australian cricket team has been hit with fresh allegations of ball tampering, just 15 months after the scandal that resulted in bans for David Warner and Steve Smith.
Adam Zampa came under scrutiny after footage of him putting his hand in his pocket in between balls during Australia's Cricket World Cup loss to India went viral on social media.
In the first of two clips, in the 14th over of the Indian batting innings, the leg spinner removes a white object from his left pocket and transfers it to his right.
In the second clip, 10 overs later, Zampa puts his hand in his right pocket twice, before spinning the ball in his hand.
Australian captain Aaron Finch strongly denied any wrongdoing when asked about the television footage after the match, which the Aussies lost by 36 runs.
"I haven't seen the photos, but I know that he has hand-warmers in his pocket," Finch said.
"He has them every single game he plays. I honestly haven't seen them, so I can't comment too much on it. But I know for a fact that he has hand-warmers every game."
Zampa had a disappointing outing with the ball, conceding 50 runs in six wicketless overs.
In March last year, the cricket world was stunned when Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera using sandpaper on the ball during a test against South Africa in Cape Town.
The young batsman later admitted to roughing up the ball and was handed a nine-month suspension from the game.
Then Australian captain Smith and senior player Warner were both banned for 12 months for their role in the controversy.
Darren Lehmann quit as head coach shortly after the scandal, amid a Cricket Australia investigation into the team's culture.
"This is something fishy," one fan wrote on Twitter, after capturing the Zampa footage.
Another called for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to investigate. "Can you take a look at this ICC? What Zampa used during match?"
Smith and Warner have both been included in Australia's World Cup squad, after their bans ended in April. As expected, it's been far from a warm welcome from some fans.
The Indian victory ended Australia's 10-match winning streak and has underlined India's World Cup title ambitions ahead of their clash against the Black Caps on Thursday night.