DUBAI - Legendary fast bowler Waqar Younis said on Sunday it's impossible to legalise ball-tampering and wanted uniformity in the rules while punishing the offending players in international cricket.
South Africa's Faf du Plessis escaped with just a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee for ball-tampering that put a blot on the Proteas thumping an innings and 92-run victory in the second Test against Pakistan on Saturday.
"If you legalise ball-tampering ... there will be a lot of swing so I don't see legalising tampering is possible," Younis said. Younis was the first player to get a suspension from one ODI for ball-tampering during 2000. He took 373 wickets in 87 Test matches and another 416 in 262 one-day internationals before retiring in 2003. He formed Pakistan's lethal pace attack with Wasim Akram in the 90s and was also famous for bowling toe-crushing yorkers. In the past former bowling greats like Pakistan's Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee from New Zealand had said that ball-tampering should be legalised. But Younis said he couldn't understand how it could be done. "How can you legalise tampering?" Younis asked. "I think Richard Hadlee, Allan Donald and Imran Khan also said that, but I don't know how it can be done."
Back in Pakistan, several former Test cricketers and even the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi questioned match referee David Boon's soft punishment of du Plessis. And Younis also agreed that du Plessis got away with his rubbing of the ball on the zip of his trouser's pants. "I think he got away with it, considering the severity of the offence,"
Younis said. "Had it been a sub-continent player he would have been punished harshly, so there should be uniformity in punishment." Younis said the International Cricket Council will come under more pressure if ball-tampering is legalised as the gentleman's game has recently been tainted with match-fixing and spot-fixing scandals in international matches. "I think that (legalising tampering) will cause more problems because already there is lack of sportsmanship in the game and the ICC will be under one more problem," he said. Younis believed that batsmen already suffer a lot when they come up against good bowling attack on hard and bouncy wickets in countries like Australia and South Africa and they will face more hardships if ball-tampering is made legal. "I'm sure batsmen will start shouting in two months if you legalize ball-tampering because the ball will do a lot," he said. Younis said use of different types of balls in international matches is another hurdle in making ball-tampering legal.
"There are ten teams which play international matches they use three to four types of different balls which will behave differently if tampered," he said. "The pitches also differ, so it cannot be uniform."