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Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

AB de Villiers critical of England in 'tampering' row


England broke laws of the game - Vaughan

South Africa's AB de Villiers says an official complaint should have been made about alleged ball-tampering by England in the third Test in Cape Town.

James Anderson appeared to pick at the ball, while in a separate incident, Stuart Broad stopped it with his foot.

South Africa raised concerns about the ball's condition with the match referee but opted against escalating the issue.

"I think there should be a formal complaint, because the ball did reverse [swing] afterwards," said De Villiers.

"There was quite clearly a piece of leather off the ball after he'd [Broad] stepped on it - and it's not the first time it happened.

"It's a little bit naughty. I wouldn't say he deserves to be banned - but it should be looked at, definitely.

We're glad the matter is closed. We've done nothing wrong

England's Alastair Cook

"It's not on to be climbing on to the ball with your spikes. We all like to get the ball to reverse all over the show, as long as you do it in a legal way."

England coach Andy Flower backed his bowlers, while the International Cricket Council confirmed it had received no official complaint from South African team management about any opposition player.

The umpires viewed relevant footage without feeling the need to bring any charges, and with the deadline for any action had passed the ICC views the matter as closed.

Speaking at the end of Wednesday's action, England batsman Alastair Cook insisted his side had put the matter behind them and were confident they had not done anything wrong.

Asked if they were angry at the way events unfolded on Tuesday, he said: "We were a little bit.

"We're glad the matter is closed. We've done nothing wrong. We know what we've been doing is fine.

"The umpires, match referee and everyone else - with all the TV evidence - have said we've done nothing wrong, and we're totally 100% confident in our camp that is true. That's what's been proved."


South Africa media officer Michael Owen-Smith earlier said: "There have been several queries from the media about various video footage shown, and certain allegations being made about the ball

"We have raised our concerns with the match referee about it and we've left it to him to decide if any further action or investigation is necessary."

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said of Anderson's actions: "I think he's just beyond what is acceptable.

"He's not gouging it. He's just fiddling with the rough side of the ball and I think that's a very dangerous area to get into."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live: "It certainly looks like Jimmy Anderson has had some kind of play on the ball.

"If it was Pakistan what would we make of it? It's a very delicate situation."

Asked about Broad's actions, Flower insisted there was no case to answer.

"All that happened is the ball was rolling gently towards him and he stuck out a boot to stop the ball. I don't think it's a big issue," he said.

"The umpires and match referee haven't approached us. Of course, our door is always open, but they haven't said anything.

"I think over the years we have seen a lot of tall fast bowlers stop balls with their feet, so I don't see anything sinister in it all. I think you are talking about very isolated incidents.

"If you are talking about stopping a ball once with your boot and one throw through a session of 80 overs today I think you are being a little bit pernickety."

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Michael Vaughan Q&A
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