Australian captain Steve Smith has shot down suggestions of ball-tampering after video of him using saliva from the corner of his mouth during Sunday’s one-day loss to England raised eyebrows.
Smith laughed off the reaction, after watching a replay of the video, saying it was his standard technique for helping shine the white ball with no assistance from any foreign substance.
“It was all spit. People said something about lip balm. If you look at my lips they are pretty dry. I certainly didn’t have any of that on,” he told reporters on Sunday. “It is just the way I get the spit into the side of my mouth and get some spit onto the ball. There was nothing in it.”
England last month blasted ball-tampering allegations against them as a “beat-up” after footage of England bowler James Anderson working the ball with his thumbnail drew suspicions during their Ashes test match in Melbourne.
England coach Trevor Bayliss slammed the accusations after former Australian test players Shane Warne and Michael Slater suggested it was not allowed.
“It’s a beat-up. As soon as I saw the headlines I raced into the umpires and that was their words: ‘Nothing to worry about, it was a beat-up, absolutely fine’,” Bayliss said at the time.
England sealed the five-match One-day International series in Sydney on Sunday when a stunning century from Jos Buttler helped the visitors to a unbeatable 3-0 lead – a remarkable turnaround after Australia had trounced them 4-0 in the Ashes Tests.