Justin Langer says ball-tampering an international issue. Picture: Getty
Justin Langer says ball-tampering an international issue. Picture: Getty

Langer: Ball tampering far from just Aussie issue

AUSTRALIA coach Justin Langer has called the scourge of ball-tampering an international problem and among the most significant issues that cricket has to sort out.

Langer said he couldn't understand for a "single second" why suspended batsman Cameron Bancroft took sandpaper out on the field in the Cape Town Test, an incident which lead to the Longstaff review and it's scathing assessment of Australian cricket culture.

The former Test batsmen, who took over as coach after the ball-tampering scandal, said he was shocked and saddened by the events in South Africa and promised it would never happen again.

"In terms of the specifics what happened, with the ball, my honest view is it's an international problem," Langer said.

"I can't for a single second understand why we took sandpaper out on the field. That doesn't make any sense to me.

"What I do know is the issue with people ball tampering is something that is going on internationally. That's a real worry."

In an interview with former teammate Adam Gilchrist which aired on Fox Cricket, Langer said the effect of poor pitches and a ball that wouldn't swing, culminated in the players making a "huge mistake".

"There are a couple of issues, we have to get the pitches right around the world so the ball does move, it does spin or swing. But to go to the point we did was a huge mistake," he said.

"I remember sitting on the sofa the night it happened, and as a ex-player and someone who loves the Australian cricket team I was shocked and sad, I was angry.

"I can promise you it won't happen again."

The Longstaff review reported there was a widely held view in cricket that "ball management" had always been an acceptable part of the game.

It found however that rules around it were "imperfectly enforced" and that some teams were better at it than others.


Cameron Bancroft caught roughing the ball in Cape Town.
Cameron Bancroft caught roughing the ball in Cape Town.



After the scandal the International Cricket Council increased what were regarded as insufficient penalties for ball-tampering. The maximum penalty is now a six-Test ban for anyone found guilty.

In June this year, before the new penalties came in to force, Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was banned for one Test for ball-tampering in a Test against West Indies.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has twice been found guilty of ball-tampering, and on both occasions copped only a fine.


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