Monty Panesar bowls during am England training session at the SCG in January 2014.  Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Monty Panesar bowls during am England training session at the SCG in January 2014. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Ex-England spinner drops ball-tampering bombshell

MONTY Panesar has made bombshell claims about the England cricket team, questioning whether its treatment of the ball in the field was legal throughout his international career.

The former England spinner, who played 50 Tests between 2006 and 2013, played a crucial role in ball maintenance for bowlers such as James Anderson.

"We found that mints and sun cream had an effect on the saliva, and that helped the ball to reverse," he revealed in an excerpt of his book The Full Monty, which appeared in the Daily Mail.

"I might also have 'accidentally' caught the ball on the zip of my trouser pocket to rough it up a little."

He added: "Whether we broke the laws depends on how you interpret them.

"That was probably a hairline fracture of the spirit of the game, even if the laws said you were allowed to 'use your uniform'."

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was once found guilty of ball tampering by the International Cricket Council after using mints to alter the condition of the ball against Australia in 2016.

Law 42.3 of the MCC's Laws of Cricket states that a fielder is free to polish a ball "provided that no artificial substance is used".

Du Plessis was also fined for rubbing the ball on the zipper of his trousers against Pakistan in 2013.

Panesar became a national hero in 2009 when he helped England defend the Ashes on home soil with an unlikely, match-saving stand with James Anderson in the first Test at Cardiff.

News Corp Australia

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