Bowlers on the back foot
James Anderson and Stuart Broad have both rejected accusations of ball-tampering during this week's third Test against South Africa.
Last Updated: 10/01/10 10:45am
England bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have both rejected accusations of ball-tampering during this week's third Test against South Africa.
The home side raised concerns over the state of the ball at Newlands after Broad had trapped it with his boot, with Anderson subsequently being captured on camera working it with his fingers.
South Africa elected not to raise a formal complaint though, and so both men will face no further action from the International Cricket Council.
However, observers have criticised the pair, with former England captain Michael Vaughan claiming that Anderson was deliberately attempting to alter the condition of the ball and therefore "lucky" to avoid a reprimand.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Anderson has hit back at Vaughan's claims and defended his own actions.
The 27-year-old paceman said: "To be caught up in suggestions of ball-tampering was a huge disappointment.
"It led to a lot of comment and cast a shadow over me and Stuart Broad when we'd done nothing wrong except be a bit absent-minded and lazy.
"I know my old England captain Michael Vaughan is entitled to his opinion but I was a little bit hurt by some of the comments he made about me, because I'd like to think he knew me well enough to know I wouldn't do something like that.
"I've got a lot of respect for Vaughany as a team-mate and as a captain and I learnt an awful lot under his wing in the England side so he knows the sort of player I am."
He added: "I definitely was not altering the ball to try and help us, I was just looking at it and playing with it. There was a tuft of leather that had come up and I wasn't digging in any nails or anything like that into the ball."
Referring to Broad's decision to trap the ball with his spikes rather than bend down to pick it up, Anderson added: "The situation with Broady's boot on the ball is just a case of ridiculous laziness and something that we've actually been having a go at him for."
Whilst agreeing that with the benefit of hindsight he should have picked up the ball, Broad claimed that being able to trap the ball to specifically alter the condition of the scuffed side was beyond him.
The 23-year-old told Daily Mail: "My actions in stopping the ball with my boot have been questioned but I am not the first bowler to stop a ball with his size 12s and I will not be the last.
"It was close to 40 degrees Celsius out there in Newlands at the time and, if I was guilty of anything, it was just laziness in not bending down to pick up the ball.
"Ball-tampering? That's astonishing. For one thing, if I was skilled enough to be able to step on the scuffed up side of the ball and know exactly what I was doing to create an unfair advantage with my feet, I would be playing football in the Premier League rather than cricket for England."