Former Australian captain Mark Taylor has defended the Australian bowlers in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal. Earlier this week, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon – Australia’s four bowlers during the infamous Cape Town Test – released a statement and denied any knowledge of the plot to tamper with the ball.
Speaking on Channel 9’s show Sports Sunday, Mark Taylor backed the bowlers and stated:
“The bleeding obvious to me is they didn’t know that it had been doctored. You only have to read what they said during the week. If I could just read it out: ‘We did not know a foreign substance was taken on to the field to alter the condition of the ball’. And as they said, the two umpires in the game did not change the ball.”
Mark Taylor added: “So there was an attempt to change the condition of the ball but they didn’t get to do it. The umpire said, ‘That ball’s still fine, let’s get on with it’. So they did not know.”
The former skipper added that the bowlers in question have high integrity and would have said the same thing in 2018.
Mark Taylor also did not believe that the public release of the investigation report would aid in ending the debate over the matter. He said:
“It’s going to be part of the cricket folk history, part of the history you don’t want cricket to be known for, it will be there forever.”