As bad as match fixing: Harris

19 July 2014

Australian quick says there is no room in the game for ball tampering in wake of Philander controversy

Ryan Harris has labelled ball tampering akin to match fixing in the wake of Vernon Philander being sanctioned for scratching the surface of the ball in Sri Lanka.

The South African seam bowler, ranked the No.3 Test bowler in the world by the International Cricket Council, was charged after vision of him attempting to change the condition of the ball by scratching the surface with his fingers and thumb was reviewed by the umpires.

Harris, the world's No.2 ranked Test bowler who helped Australia to a 2-1 series win over South Africa in February and March by bowling through pain to capture the last two wickets in the dying embers of day five in Cape Town, said there was "no room in the game" for those who tamper with the ball.

"It's the same as match-fixing for me, it's the same sort of thing" Harris told "It's disappointing. There's no room for it, no need for it."

Quick Single: Philander fined for ball ampering

Philander was fined 75 per cent of his match fee by the ICC after the umpires reviewed footage after play.

"The penalty was accepted by Philander without contest so there was no need for a hearing," the ICC said in a statement.

Harris, who underwent knee surgery after that Test win in South Africa and is currently in Darwin coaching the Australia A bowlers, said Philander was a "good bowler" and was surprised that he had tampered with the ball.

"I don't the guys (in the South Africa team) individually too well but I wouldn't have thought teams would go out and do that deliberately," said Harris. "Obviously they do."

"Steyn, Morkel, even Philander, they're good bowlers."

Australia opener David Warner enraged the South Africans during that series by suggesting on-field umpires should keep a close eye on the Proteas in the field, but Harris downplayed any impact on Australia's series win that saw them re-claim the World No.1 Test ranking.

Quick Single: Philander tamper opens old wounds

"We beat them, simple as that we won," said Harris. "Whatever they did, didn't work, if they did anything."

"The ball was reversing in South Africa, our ball was reversing a bit. There's no real impact.

"We came out on top of that and won the series."


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