Of Trescothick, Mint and Ball tampering

Ashes 2005 fame Marcus Trescothick reveals shortly before the release of his autobiography some seriously sensational stuff that is bound to boost the sales of his book. Check out the story here.

Of the little I’ve watched of Trescothick, I’ve been largely curious if not a fan. That he disappeared during that 2006 tour of India had me skeptic but after a repeated such incidents and rumors of a stress related condition, I got more sympathetic. So I would have gone on to buy his book, even if I didn’t know about the role Murray’s mint played in the famed Ashes victory. But now there’s more of an incentive. I’m not sure if we’ll get the book here in India on Sept 1st. Either way, I’ll be checking it out at my local Landmark.

Meanwhile on this whole ball tampering issue, while I feel there is an element of it not being fair, I’m more inclined to brush it off. But several questions remain. One of the most bothersome things is the continued preferential treatment some teams get. The ball tampering incident in the Ganguly-lead India with Dravid and with the lozenges laden spit comes to mind. Why should Trescothick go scot free when Dravid didn’t? Should we retroactively change the result, in line with the dangerous precedent of the infamous 2006 Oval Test where Pak were accused of ball tampering? Or should be we retroactively punish Trescothick or set right Dravid’s record? All of these are ridiculous propositions, but the ICC is to blame for this and some cricketing boards are crazy enough to actually ask these questions.

Another question is, just how much change can mint or lozenges induce to a cricket ball? My cricketing experiences are mostly limited to exploits in stick cricket, so I’ll let the learned folk answer this. Even if the effect is more than slightly significant, how we stop tampering through spit? Should chewing gums now be banned hours before play? Ponting is almost always chewing gum on the field. Shall we now suggest that Australia wins matches due to the spit from chewing a certain brand of chewing gum? Should cricketers take medical test to prove that they haven’t chewed gum, eaten mint, or taken dhal-chawal? Should we investigate the effects of Panner-Tikka masala lunch on a cricket ball? Should we have lie detector tests for cricketers? That’s what all this boils down. Any amendments or additions to the law on ball tampering would make it impossible to enforce and move the focus away from the game. We saw this happening in the umpire referral/review system in the recent Test series involving India in Sri Lanka.

I ask only for fair and equal treatment for all cricket playing nations. Other than that I say, case closed and move on.


10 Responses to Of Trescothick, Mint and Ball tampering

  1. exactly VM…how much change a salvia can do to the ball…every body is jumping up and down saying they oz lost it coz of that only…huh!!

    other than that you already know my sentiments on this mint business at BCCI…

  2. vmminerva says:

    Yep, SP, I read your article about Tresco on BCCI. Didn’t get a chance to reply there though. It has been a very crazy week. Now if the Aussies make an issue out of this, then we should call them pansies and that’s being nice.

  3. Soulberry says:

    Significant changes….1) the obvious shine and, the not so obvious 2) increases the weight of the ball on that side – an essential for reverse swing. It is thus that the ball swings towards the shiny side in reverse swing rather than away from it.

    However, Handy Candy here offers free gelatine just in case the bullseyes don’t work enough. 🙂

    I’m just wondering at how much dirt the ball would pick up on the sticky side, how much of that went into Tresco’s mouth and how many hands held the combined germs on the ball and then licked their fingers to add a bit more sweet…sorry spit.

  4. vmminerva says:

    SB, thanks for enlightening some of us. As for the spitting, I always cringe when one spits and pases it to the bowler. Yikes!

  5. Soulberry says:

    During the game one never thought about it, but afterwards it used to sink in, and one headed for cleansing.

    I have a longish story about that from my younger days…maybe later 🙂

  6. vmminerva says:

    SB, can’t wait for that story. 🙂

  7. sb – out with it, bcci wants this scoop!

  8. A Bisht says:


    physics says constant smoothening, lusturing one halve and roughing, dulling the other one, will definitely aid swing(aerial ball movement) and make the ball difficult to spot(illusion).

    But you raised a valid point: to what extent these additives can induce these effects?

    I think they can make for a substantial effect.

    So these strategies do aid the bowlers.

    Now what can be done ?

    I think the issue is too crucial to be ignored , it is similar to “in soccer calibrated increase in the ball size do help in shooting the ball to long distances; decreasing it would aid more ball control ” and ” in cricket, a bat made up of any other wood except willow, will affect the stroke play and powerful hitting; the size and curve of the blade will also affect the batting”

    So what is the solution.

    I think cricket has reached a position where, it should be monitored more scientificly. like the doping thing; specialized labs should be set up who will make some guidelines, not only for the bat size, weight, curve, material to the colour, material, size, for a ball; that apart the in-house labs should also constantly check the solutions, eatables and creams that players take to the play ground. As some esteem member has suggested; we do need anti-doping like initiatives in this regard as well.

    these are my personal views and any esteemed member to this discussion initiated by you has every right to differ.

  9. vmminerva says:

    Abisht, thanks for enlightening me. The situation definitely sounds interesting and more worthy of perusal than what I initially thought. However, it will be nearly impossible to monitor without making it seems ridiculous.

  10. Jobbies says:

    The issue is not the amount of swing, it is that the ball will REVERSE swing. This means the ball swings late (later than a batsmans reactions can cope with), swings on a different trajectory than normal swing, and will even swing visciously AFTER the ball pitches. The more sugar is applied to the shiny side, and the more spikes are driven into the rough side, the more it swings, REVERSE. The only way to cope with this serious problem is to let all substances and all tampering to be legal. Players cannot be trusted anymore not to cheat, because of the money involved in the game. This is not restricted just to one or two national teams anymore. So make it legal and get used to tests over in three days, scores of 140/1 followed up by a clatter of nine wickets to be all out for 200. Get used to it, it is the future that the ICC wants.

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