The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shoaib faces 4-8 match ban
Shoaib Akhtar

Dambulla: Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar could face a four to eight match ban for alleged ball tampering during a tri-series match against New Zealand on Tuesday.

The incident was brought to the attention of the third umpire Gamini Silva after television pictures showed close-up shots of Akhtar apparently scratching the quarter seam of the ball.

Akhtar was called for a hearing after an official inquiry by Match Referee Gundappa Viswanath.

Viswanath, who had requested television evidence after the match, said he would announce his decision on Wednesday.

“The umpires advised me to view television clippings, believing that the condition of the ball may have been changed,” Viswanath said after the one-hour hearing.

“I will make my decision tomorrow,” he added.

Akhtar, who took three for 36, had produced a match-winning spell that saw six New Zealand wickets fall for 21.

Breaking Law 42.3, which refers to changing the condition of the match ball, is a Level Two offence according to ICC’s Code of Conduct.

He was accused of ball tampering against Zimbabwe in the first Test last October and was reprimanded by Match Referee Clive Lloyd .

He also been charged with a Level Two offence during the past 12 months, when he threw a bottle into the crowd during the same series. Therefore, this incident will mean a Level Three offence.

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