Tim Pain, former Australian test captain, allegedly accused the South Africans of ball tampering during an infamous test series in 2018.
Paine made the shocking revelations in his autobiography The Paid Price, becoming the first player to open out about the 2018 Cape Town Test in a tell-all book.
It has been claimed by Paine that the South Africans tampered with the ball, yet the broadcasters conveniently ignored it because they were the hosts. Virat Kohli made similar remarks during India’s tour of South Africa in 2021. As Virat spoke to the stump microphone, he said, “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball, not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time.”
Tim Paine Opens up about the scandal in his book The Paid Price
This could spark another controversy, as two national team leaders have made identical assertions.
Paine denies any team meeting over Cameron Bancroft’s plan to apply sandpaper on the ball during the third Test of the series against South Africa.
“I was thinking ‘what the f**k’,” Paine wrote. “A sense of dread came over us all.”
Paine went to great pains in a lengthy chapter on the 2018 tour to bring out that ball-tampering was routine in cricket and that it was the sport’s dirty little secret. In his future book, Faf du Plessis, South Africa’s captain at the time, makes similar assertions. However, Paine admitted that using sandpaper was “next level” and “shameful,” with traditional tampering usually involving throwing the ball onto the ground.
Tim Paine’s claims South Africa was involved in ball tampering
Regardless, he claims he was enraged when he saw South Africa reportedly tearing apart the seam of the ball in the subsequent Test.
It had been allegedly reported that He saw the tampering happen in the fourth Test of that series. After everything that had happened in Cape Town, after all the headlines and bans and carry on.
He claimed he was standing at the bowlers’ end in the next Test when a shot came up on the screen of a South African player at mid-off having a huge crack at the ball.
From the words of Tim Paine from his autobiography he had quoted, “The television director, who had played an active role in catching out Cam, immediately pulled the shot off the screen. We went to the umpires about it, which might seem a bit poor, but we’d been slaughtered and were convinced they’d been up to it since the first Test. But the footage got lost. As it would.”
Paine stated that Australia felt “provoked” throughout the series due to crowd abuse of players’ families, with David Warner being a particular focus.
And he stated that he believed the team had let the opener down prior to the Cape Town debacle.
“I don’t know how [Warner] kept his cool in those situations and on reflection I feel the team let him down by not offering him more support,” Paine wrote. I can see now he was masking a lot of pain and we should have known it.”
Meanwhile, du Plessis has stated that South Africa suspected Australia of tampering with the ball earlier in the series before the controversy erupted at Newlands, explicitly referring to how much reverse swing there was in the first match in Durban, referencing “borderline unplayable” deliveries from Mitchell Starc.
“We suspected that someone had been nurturing the ball too much to get it to reverse so wildly, and we watched the second Test at St George’s through binoculars, so that we could follow the ball more closely while Australia was fielding,” he writes in Faf: Through Fire.
Tim paine lastly added that, “When we noticed that the ball was going to David Warner quite often – our changing room must have looked like a birdwatching hide as we peered intently through our binoculars.”
When South Africa visits Australia for three Test matches in December and January, it will be the first time the two teams have met in a Test series since the 2018-19 season.