Cricket - No action against Siddle after tampering claims

Match officials have found no evidence of ball tampering in the Hobart Test between Australia and Sri Lanka and no charges will be laid, the International Cricket Council has said.

Reuters
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Australia's Peter Siddle acknowledges the crowd after taking five wickets during the third day's play in the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval in Hobart (Reuters)

Australia paceman Peter Siddle took nine wickets to help the hosts to a 137-run victory in the series opener but found himself at the centre of row after a picture of him apparently picking at the seam of the ball circulated on social media.

"The umpires frequently inspect the ball during play, and did so again after they had reviewed the video footage in question on Sunday," ICC match referee Chris Broad said in a statement.

"They found no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed.

"During the tea interval on that day, I spoke with Australia coach Mickey Arthur and told him that the umpires will continue to inspect the cricket ball regularly, and monitor the actions of all players.

"In the opinion of the umpires, there was no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball was changed, or that the video or photographic evidence would support a charge under the Code of Conduct, so they will not be laying any charges relating to these incidents," Broad added.

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said the team had not made an official complaint because they had no proof and just wanted Broad to take a look at the TV pictures.

"When we informally spoke with the officials they said they had noted it down," he said. "The easiest thing for them to have done was to at least have a chat with the Aussie management or the captain and see what happened and move on.

"If the officials deem that there is something to it they can proceed with it, otherwise we move on."

Siddle said it was "ridiculous" to suggest he had been tampering with the ball.

"There's a picture going round on Twitter but on Twitter you can say what you like and there's no consequences," he said.

"If you took a picture of every time I turned around to bowl, you'd see the same picture.

"Why would I jeopardise that when I know we can go out in the spirit of the game and win?"

Australia captain Michael Clarke was surprised at the development but equally adamant his team played within the rules.

"At the end of the day the ICC have made it clear there's nothing there," he said. "I 100 percent believe we play in the spirit of the game.

"I don't believe any of the Australian bowlers would jeopardise that to ruin our reputation. We play very hard on the field, but we understand there's a line you cannot cross."

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