NASA scientist explains ball-tampering; fuels suspicion

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 05 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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LONDON: An Indian origin aerodynamics expert at NASA, Dr. Rabi Mehta¬ís explanation of how tampering a cricket ball helps it swing in the air, has fuelled suspicion among English players about Pakistan¬ís tampering with the ball in the Oval Test-series held two weeks ago. According a leading English newspaper report, the scientist had a meeting with England¬ís fast bowling coach Troy Cooley where he explained the cause of the swing in cricket balls. He said the tampering causes an ¬Ďasymmetric flow of turbulence¬í around the ball and produces the side force. Mehta also lectured senior officials of England and Wales Cricket Board on the effects of tampering the ball. Mehta explained that when the tampered rough side of the ball is bowled in a skillful manner that it faces the batsman, the air tends to cling to the ball for a longer time and creates a ressure difference. This allows the ball to swing. He said that the greater the roughness, the greater the swing. These meetings are suspected to have fuelled suspicion among the English players about their game with Pakistan where Australian umpire Darrell Hair received intense criticism after awarding five runs against Pakistan, claiming they had tampered with the ball.