Sheffield Shield 2015-16
Victoria hit with ball tampering penalty
Victoria penalised five runs for altering the condition of the ball on the third day of the Shield final
Martin Smith at Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg
28 March 2016, 04:34 PM AEST
Victoria have been penalised five runs after bowling coach Mick Lewis was ruled to have deliberately altered the condition of the ball during the third day of the Sheffield Shield final against South Australia.
The Redbacks were awarded five penalty runs following the incident, which came in the 11th over of South Australia's second innings at Gliderol Stadium in Glenelg.
Report & Highlights: Holland gives Vics the edge on day three
Lewis, who was walking along the boundary line on the western side of the ground, went to retrieve the ball as it finished on the grass just inches in front of the fence after SA opener Mark Cosgrove had pulled a Scott Boland delivery for four.
Lewis appeared to kick the ball onto the concrete under the fence and having lent down to pick up the ball, took longer than would be expected to get it in his grasp before getting hold of it and throwing it back to the fielders.
Two overs later, Jake Weatherald struck a boundary to the opposite side of the ground, with the ball rolling under the fence and onto the concrete.
Quick Single: Former greats criticise Lewis
Umpires Paul Wilson and Mick Martell then examined the ball and after a lengthy discussion with Bushrangers captain Matthew Wade, the ball was replaced.
Officials later ruled that the Redbacks would be awarded five penalty runs.
"The umpires had determined that the condition of the ball had been deliberately altered," match referee Steve Bernard said in a statement.
"Under the laws of cricket they imposed the five run penalty against the Victorian side and replaced the ball."
Law 42 of Cricket Australia's Playing Conditions for the Sheffield Shield states: "If the umpires together agree that the deterioration in the condition of the ball is greater than is consistent with the use it has received, they shall consider that there has been a contravention of this Law. They shall then decide together whether they can identify the player(s) responsible for such conduct."
The law continues: "If it is possible to identify the player(s) responsible, the umpires shall change the ball forthwith ... additionally the bowler's end umpire shall: Award 5 penalty runs to the batting side, inform the captain of the fielding side of the reason for the action taken, inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred and together with the other umpire report the incident to the Match Referee, who shall take action as is appropriate against the player(s) responsible."
It remains to be seen if Bernard will take any further action against Lewis or the Bushrangers.
The Bushrangers say they will comment on the incident in due course.
Victoria's Peter Handscomb, who completed an impressive century on the third morning, said the players didn't know much about the incident when the five runs were added the the Redbacks total.
"I haven't seen anything so I don't really know what's happened yet and the boys don't know much either," he said immediately after play.
"So we'll just wait and see and we'll discuss it after this."