Cape Town, Jan 6(ANI): England coach Andy Flower has said that he has been taken aback by the ball-tampering row which overshadowed day three of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Flower's comment came after the South African team raised their concerns over shots of fast bowler Stuart Broad treading on the ball with his spikes and James Anderson poking at it with his fingers at an early stage of the second innings.
"Over the years we have seen a lot of tall fast bowlers stop the ball with their boot, so I don't see anything sinister in it at all," The Telegraph quoted Flower, as saying.
The images can hardly be considered conclusive evidence of tampering, but the South African team alleged that the two bowlers were trying to alter the condition of the ball to aid reverse swing, one of England's most potent weapons.
The incident was made official by South Africa at the close of play, which ended with the host nation at 312 for two, 330 runs ahead of England with two days to play.
"We have raised our concerns with the match referee over the condition of the ball and we have left it to him to decide whether action is necessary," a South Africa spokesman said.
Meanwhile, England spokesman said: "We firmly rebut any accusations of ball tampering." (ANI)