Cricket South Africa says it is “unfortunate” ex-Australia captain Tim Paine’s claims that South Africa tampered with the ball in 2018 did not emerge “at the appropriate time”.
Australians Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for a year and Cameron Bancroft nine months for their parts in tampering with the ball during the Cape Town Test in March 2018.
Paine, who was later appointed Test captain in place of Smith, claimed South Africa tampered with the ball in the fourth Test that followed.
Paine, who stepped down as captain last year, claimed footage of a South Africa player tampering with the ball “got lost” after it was shown on the screen during the game.
The 37-year-old wicketkeeper wrote in his autobiography: “I was standing at the bowlers’ end in the next Test when a shot came up on the screen of a South African player at mid-off having a huge crack at the ball.
“We went to the umpires about it, which might seem a bit poor, but we’d been slaughtered and were convinced they’d been up to it since the first Test.
“But the footage got lost. As it would.”
CSA said Paine’s allegation “could have been useful had it come out at the time, when the rot in the game was being rooted out”.
It added: “CSA and Cricket Australia have engaged on this matter and the necessary sanctions levied at the time. Both bodies have reiterated their commitment to a clean game, pampered with excellence, grit and above reproach.
“While CSA respects the rights of individuals to air their opinions, it also calls upon all those who love the game to come forward with any information of misconduct on the field at the appropriate time and not wait for time to elapse.
“This will assist the relevant authorities within the system to investigate and appropriate relevant sanctions should they be required.”
Cricket Australia has declined to comment.
Australia ball-tampering row – what was it all about?
Bancroft was caught on camera with a piece of sandpaper on the field during the third Test at Cape Town.
He, then captain Smith and vice-captain Warner apologised for their roles in the scandal, with Smith and Warner since returning to the national team in a regular capacity.
Paine denied the scandal was common knowledge in the dressing room but said the team should have taken responsibility as a whole.
“Everyone was a part of it to some degree. Would it have worked out better for those three players if we had owned it as a team? I think it would have,” he said.
Paine stepped down as captain in November 2021 following an investigation into historical sexually explicit texts to a female colleague.
He sent messages to a co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in November 2017, leading to a misconduct investigation after she made allegations against him in 2018.
Paine said he was “exonerated”, with Cricket Australia clearing him of any breach of its code of conduct at the time and Cricket Tasmania deciding “no further action was required or appropriate”.
Sources–Tim Paine: Cricket South Africa says ball-tampering allegations ‘unfortunate’ in timing