South Australian captain Johan Botha will appeal his suspension for the crucial last round of the Sheffield Shield for a bizarre incident in which he is said to have taken the new ball and, in front of the umpires, run the old one along his boot spikes before tossing it away.
Botha, whose Redbacks are locked at the top of the ladder with NSW and Western Australia on 26 points and striving for their first shield final in 18 years, is fighting the severity of the penalty.
He also received a reprimand for using offensive language during NSW’s first innings.
During that innings he was spoken to by the umpires about the condition of the ball. At the end of the 88th over, when the new ball was taken, he grabbed the old one and ran it along the bottom of his boot before tossing it to the boundary line. Because the old ball was no longer in use, Botha was charged with bringing the game into disrepute – ”specifically repeated inappropriate conduct relating to the condition of the match ball” – rather than a ball-tampering charge.
Botha, a former South African spinner, pleaded guilty to the charge but disputed the ban, which was upheld at a hearing after NSW held on for a draw on Thursday night.
SA plays Tasmania in the last round of the shield from Tuesday and Botha’s appeal will be heard by CA code of behaviour commissioner Anthony Crocker on Monday morning.
With the trial of day-night shield games complete, Cricket Australia will gather feedback on the visibility and behaviour of the pink ball with the intention of staging more games under lights next season.
Them ultimate goal is to host a day-night Test against New Zealand in November 2015. CA believes holding Tests under lights will make the traditional format more popular in parts of the world where it is struggling, and could boost the value of future broadcast deals.
However, Victorian coach Greg Shipperd believes the pink ball is not ready for Test combat. .
“It was hard to see for me. There’s still some work to do on its ‘plasticity’ – it gets too soft, too quickly,” Shipperd said after Tasmania deprived Victoria of an outright win at the MCG.
“There’s some quite dark patches when that pink colour gets scraped off the surface of the ball.
”There’s some issues in terms of hardness and the resilience of the ball over 80 overs.”
Bottom-placed Victoria plays Queensland in the last round at the MCG next week.