ICC Champions Trophy: Opportunity for England

England have the chance to rise above ball-tampering accusations by booking their place in a second successive home Champions Trophy final at the expense of South Africa today.

Mutterings about the legality of England’s reverse-swing methods have followed them from Cardiff back to the Oval – where the gossip first started – as opposing captain AB de Villiers publicly placed his faith in International Cricket Council officials to ensure nothing untoward takes place. England coach Ashley Giles issued a strong denial of claims made by former Test captain Bob Willis, in his guise as a broadcast pundit, that unfair means were being used to alter the condition of the ball.

De Villiers said he will rely on the ICC to maintain a level playing field. “It’s something that the umpires and ICC will probably look into – why England, and some of the other teams, might get it to ‘reverse’ quicker or later,” he said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If they are doing something with the ball then it is definitely a concern, yes. But we’ve got no proof of that.

“So maybe they’ve just got really good skill in the bowlers.”