Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt opines that the Australian bowlers had to have known that the ball was being tampered with in the fateful Newlands Test which led to the ban of Steve Smith, David Warner (one year each), and Camron Bancroft (9 months).
Salman Butt’s comments come after the Aussie bowlers in that Test – Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon – put out a statement saying they did not know anything about “a foreign substance being taken onto the field of play to alter the condition of the ball” in the 2018 Cape Town Test versus South Africa, which came in a reaction to Bancroft hinting that it was “self-explanatory” that the bowlers had to know the ball had been tampered with.
Concurring with the likes of Michael Clarke and Andrew Flintoff, Salman Butt said the bowlers get aware whenever there is a change in the condition of the ball, or a modification has been made by the fielders who maintain the ball.
“It is not true that the bowl is reverse (swinging) and the bowlers do not know. There are players in the team who are responsible for making sure the bowlers get reverse swing. The aim is to keep it as shiny as possible and keep rubbing it over the passage of time and after a point, the ball starts to reverse,” Salman Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“Hence, it is not possible for the team or the dressing room to know that the ball is not reversing. The moment it does, we see bowlers being changed. What Flintoff said was absolutely correct that how can the bowlers, for whom the ball is prepared, not know?” he added.
No one paid attention to those who were actually bowling with it: Salman Butt
Salman Butt, who himself had served a five-year ban for his part in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, is upset that only the batters – Smith, Warner, and Bancroft – were punished and banned but no heed was paid onto the bowlers, who were bowling with the tampered ball.
The former left-handed opener sarcastically applauds the investigation process and the people conducting the inquiry for sweeping the issue under the carpet as soon as possible by handing out bans to the three batters.
“Bancroft was preparing the ball. Steve Smith, the captain, knew, and even David Warner was involved. All those punished were batsmen but not even a single bowler was. I commend the person who took these decisions.
“I mean the ball is reverse swinging, the case is of ball-tampering and punishments have been given out. But no one paid attention to those who were actually bowling with it. Fear the god and stop confusing people,” the 36-year-old commented.