I have been heartened today to read Ryan Harris’ comments on the allegations of ball tampering levelled at the South Africans by his teammate David Warner.
Harris has been variously quoted as follows:
“I’ve got no doubt what they [South Africa] did was fine, otherwise the umpires and the match referee would have done something,” Harris said.
“They [South Africa] have obviously looked after the ball a lot better than us, and if there’s anything illegal about it I’m sure we would have heard about it by now.
“They’ve obviously had experience at that ground and knew what they had to do.
“We didn’t do it well enough so we’ve just got to make sure that if it (reverse swing) happens here (in Cape Town), somehow we’ve got to get it going.
“Throwing it (the ball) into the ground, that happens in everyday cricket now as long as you’re doing it from the outfield.
“There are things that are not secret because everyone does it, and then it’s a matter of how you polish it up and what you do after that.
“But I think if there’s any scratching or anything like that done, the umpires are checking the ball every 15 overs or whatever and if they see it, they’ll change it and they’ll make a report.”
Harris has gotten this absolutely correct. If the South Africans were tampering with the ball then they would have been reported: it is that simple. That is precisely what happened when Faf du Plessis was charged with ball tampering in October 2013.
The fact is, and Harris himself says this, the South Africans bowled better and used the conditions better than the Australians did. To suggest otherwise, as David Warner did, smacks of nothing other than the sourest of sour grapes.
Apparently the ICC is presently considering sanctions against Warner for his comments. The next chapter of this saga will certainly be interesting if nothing else.