The former Australian captain Tim Paine has revealed in his autobiography that the South African team was also tampering with the ball during the test series between Australia and South Africa in 2018, but the broadcaster never focused on them and never put those visuals on the big screen.
It was during that test series that Cameron Bancroft was shown on the big screen rubbing sandpaper on the cricket ball to roughen it up on one side so that it could reverse swing. The umpires, after watching it on the big screen, had a crack at the fielder straightaway, after which the captain joined in the conversation and the ball was changed.
But, that was not the end of the story. It turned into a major controversy after that as the Aussies were accused of cheating and Steve Smith, the captain of Australia in all formats at that stage, was sacked with immediate effect. Tim Paine took over from Steve Smith as the new Australian test captain in the middle of the game.
Post-game, Smith, Bancroft and Australia’s vice-captain at that time, David Warner, were banned for 1 year from playing any form of international or domestic Australian cricket by Cricket Australia. There was also a leadership ban of 2 years imposed on Smith, while Warner was banned from captaining Australia for a lifetime.
Once it came on the big screen, but the director removed it immediately: Tim Paine
Tim Paine, who steadied the ship for Australian test cricket at that very difficult time, wrote in his book that in the next game, he saw the South African fielders doing things with the ball as well, and once it even came on the big screen accidentally, but then the director removed it immediately.
Paine further wrote that he is very sure about the fact that the South Africans were indulged in doing stuff with the ball from the first test itself, but the broadcasters focused only on the Australian team.