Big Bash star Chris Lynn has claimed professional cricket is littered with ball-tampering but admitted it was ‘not the Australian way’.
Lynn would not blast captain Steve Smith saying ‘every cricketer’ had engaged in the dark art at some point to differing degrees.
‘I reckon every cricketer’s probably done it throughout their career in grade cricket or whatever level,’ Lynn told reporters on Monday.
Big Bash star Chris Lynn (pictured playing for the Brisbane Heat) claims all cricketers have tampered with the ball at some stage in their career
But Queensland player Lynn refused to criticise Australia captain Steve Smith (pictured)
‘But obviously not to that extent.
‘I think Faf du Plessis said when he got done he was more ball-shining than tampering. There’s a fine line between all that stuff.’
Despite the outrage that has unfolded since the incident in Cape Town, ball-tampering remains something of an open secret in cricketing circles – but few players ever publicly own up to it.
As Lynn alluded, there are shades of grey to the issue as well, and perceptions tend to differ based on the method used – whether it be shining the ball with saliva from a sweet, or roughing it up with a foreign surface.
Steve Smith was seen leaving the ground in Cape Town on Sunday behind some sun shades
Unlike lower levels of cricket, international players face much closer scrutiny these days given the large number of cameras ready to catch out those who tamper with the ball.
Many Test players – like du Plessis, Virat Kohli and Shahid Afridi – have been accused of it or sanctioned for it over the years while revered figures like Tony Greig and Mike Atherton have previously confessed to it being an undeniable part of the game.
‘Some may choose to deny it but most bowlers have technically indulged in ball-tampering,’ Greig told Cricinfo in 2010.
‘Ball-tampering is one of cricket’s most open secrets and it has been for at least 50 years.’
Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera tampering with the ball during the Third Test against South Africa
Footage during the match showed Bancroft throwing a piece of tape down the front of his pants
It was the orchestrated nature of Smith’s plot that has angered fans in Australia and the world over, and earned the wrath of the ICC, who have suspended him from the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg, which starts on Friday.
‘I know he definitely won’t do it again,’ Lynn said.
‘He’s conceded (to it) but obviously it’s not the Australian way.
‘As a cricketer, it’s not great waking up to that news… (but) he hasn’t murdered anyone.
‘The ICC have sanctioned the boys already and Cricket Australia (will) have their say.’