22 Jan 2018

Smith denies ball tampering

9:12 am on 22 January 2018

Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has denied tampering with the match ball in yesterday's loss to England in the third one-day-international in Sydney.

Australian captain Steve Smith.

Australian captain Steve Smith. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Television replays appeared to show Smith rubbing his lips with his fingers before using the same fingers to shine the cricket ball during England's innings.

A number of people picked up on Smith's actions, including the Barmy Army's official Twitter page, which tweeted the video of the alleged incident.

The Barmy Army's tweet accused Smith of using his lip balm to shine the ball but the Australian captain told the Sydney Morning Herald it "was all spit."

"People said something about lip balm. If you look at my lips, they're pretty dry, I certainly didn't have any of that on," he said.

The laws of cricket allow players to polish the ball "provided that no artificial substance is used".

Australia lost the match by 16 runs, resulting in their first home one-day series defeat in seven years.