England cricketer Ravi Bopara has shared his side of the story concerning the controversial ball-tampering accusations labelled on him in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2022. The incident occurred during a match between Sylhet Sunrisers and Khulna Tigers on February 7.
The 36-year-old was caught on camera running his finger over the ball. The on-field umpires Mahfuzur Rahman and Prageeth Rambukwella stopped play and changed the ball before docking Sylhet five runs. They had brought the charge against Bopara to the match referee, relating to breach of clause 41.3 of the BPL’s match playing conditions.
Initially, the match referee imposed a three-match ban on Bopara, but his suspension was recently overturned. Bopara’s punishment was reduced to a fine of 75 per cent of his match fee and three demerit points.
During a press conference after the game against Comilla Victorians, Bopara, the captain of Sylhet Sunrisers, explained that his knuckle-ball grip was mistaken as if he was tampering with the ball hence was penalised.
In fact, Bopara brought a ball to the press conference room and showed how he bowls the knuckle-ball, mentioning that he grips it in a particular way if the white leather is wet.
“So, what happened was that the ball I bowl is a knuckle-ball. You know when I run in hiding the ball, sometimes I run in and hold it like this, sometimes I’ll hold it like that, sometimes [I’ll hold it like this] for off-cutter. And for knuckle, you have to get this grip,” elucidated Bopara.
“To get this grip is not easy, especially with a wet ball. You have to find the best part of the ball to put it which you can feel confident. Otherwise, the ball, if it is wet, it can fly. You can bowl no-balls and stuff, so you have to find the right place to put the ball. So sometimes you have to adjust, and then if you feel comfortable, you can bowl. There was a mistake there, it is disappointing but this is life,” he added.