England pacer Liam Plunkett was cleared of ball-tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday after he was accused of causing damage to the kookaburra. A short video clip went viral on social media when Plunkett can be seen rubbing his fingers along the surface.
Australian media did not take it lightly as they went on to slam the ICC after Plunkett was fully exonerated of tampering with the ball. The incident took place during an ODI match against Pakistan in Southampton.
Plunkett himself raised the issue after becoming aware of it. He was cleared by match umpires and match referee.
ICC released a statement after the incident. The statement read, “The ICC has confirmed that the match officials are comfortable there was no attempt by Liam Plunkett to change the condition of the ball or any evidence of this on the over-by-over examinations of the ball throughout Saturday’s ODI clash in Southampton.”
Australian trio David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft was found guilty of ball-tampering last year in South Africa. They were banned from playing any international cricket for a year. David Warner returned with a bang as he scored most runs in the Indian Premier League. Rajasthan Royals’ Steve Smith was also given his captaincy back.
As far as the match is concerned, England defeated Pakistan by 12 runs in a high scoring match. Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler scored a quick century as he remained unbeaten. Captain Eoin Morgan scored 71 off 48 balls and remained not-out. Jason Roy scored 87 off 98 balls. In reply, Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman smashed 138 runs off 106 balls, while Babar Azam and Asif Ali both scored 51 runs each.