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English sandpaper gate ? Indian commentators allege England for ball-tampering

TV visuals show England players were using the spikes of the shoes to scuff the ball; KL Rahul was hit with corks by racist & unruly fans.

The second test which was dramatic in the cricketing sense has also been marred in controversy after TV visuals show two England players whose face was not seen, stamping and rubbing the ball with their spike laden shoes in the 35th over of the first innings, bowled by pacer Ollie Robinson.

Netizens quickly picked it up and started debating whether it was accidental or deliberate. Indian ex-cricket players and commentators too jumped into the debate with their tweets.

Sehwag tweeted:

Aakash Chopra tweeted:

Shaun Pollock who was commenting at that time also showed his disapproval regarding the incident. Pollock even mentioned the match referee might want to have a look at it. Even if it was not deliberate, a ball check & change could have been done by the umpires for fair play.

England pacer Stuart Broad though was quick to call it an accident. Also, the Indian batting coach downplayed it by calling it accidental.

On being asked about the moment after the end of play at the press conference, Rathour said that the Indian team did not think much about the incident.

“Not really, we were sitting outside so we hardly saw those replays. I saw it later, it does not look anything deliberately. I think it was accidental, we did not think anything about it actually,” said Rathour during a virtual press conference, according to news agency ANI.

In a separate incident, corks were thrown at KL Rahul in the pre-lunch session by unruly and drunk English fans. Earlier in the day, KL Rahul had scored a sublime 129. Indian skipper Kohli was seen asking Rahul to throw it back towards the unruly fans. Indian players were seen talking to the umpires and the game was halted for a brief period. No confirmation of an official complaint is available.


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