The doyen of West Indian cricket commentators, Joseph “Reds” Perreira, is calling on Cricket West Indies (CWI) to conduct an investigation into the ball tampering issue involving wicketkeeper batsman Nicholas Pooran.
The 24-year-old batsman was banned for four international matches by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after admitting violating Article 2.14 of the world cricket governing body’s code of conduct as it relates to “changing the condition of the ball”, during the third One-Day International (ODI) against Afghanistan at Lucknow on Monday.
Video footage showed him scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail. The charge was brought against him by on-field umpires Bismillah Shinwarin, Ahmed Durrani, third umpire Ahmed Pakteen and fourth umpire Izatullah Safi.
Pooran accepted the sanction proposed by Chris Broad of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, and as such, there was no need for a formal hearing. The dashing left-handed batsman was barred from playing the three-match Twenty20 series against Afghanistan which started on November 14, and the first match of the Twenty20 three-match series against India which starts immediately after the Afghanistan series.
He will be eligible to play in the second Twenty20 International against India on December 8 at Thiruvanthapuram. In addition to the four-match ban, five demerit points have been added to Pooran’s ‘ record.
Perreira, however, is urging CWI to follow the example of Cricket Australia and carry out a formal inquiry into the matter. Aussie authorities last year banned captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner for 12 months, as well as Cameron Bancroft for nine months, following a ball-tampering incident during Australia’s tour of South Africa. All three have since returned to international cricket after serving their suspensions.
“I feel now that the International Cricket Council has banned Pooran for four matches, and the young man has issued an apology for the incident, I think that Cricket West Indies must carry out their own investigations in a similar manner to what Cricket Australia did after the incident in South Africa involving Smith, Warner and Brancroft. After the ICC imposed penalties on those cricketers, Cricket Australia conducted their own investigations which in my view was good for transparency and laying the matter to rest once and for all. I am urging Cricket West Indies to follow the example of Cricket Australia,” the veteran broadcaster told Barbados TODAY.
He stressed that an inquiry into the matter by CWI should clear up any misconceptions that might be lingering in the minds of anyone over the issue.
“The match referee has adjudicated on the matter but he represented the ICC. I think CWI owes it to the people of the region to look into the matter. I strongly believe they should do so as quickly as possible. I am not suggesting that there is a need for drastic action against any player or officials, but I think it is important that we find out the rationale behind the incident,” Perreira explained.