Sylhet Sunrisers captain Ravi Bopara has explained how his knuckle-ball grip when bowling led to a ball-tampering penalty in the Bangladesh Premier League.
The incident took place during a match between Sylhet Sunrisers and Khulna Tigers on February 7. Initially, a three-match ban was imposed on Bopara by the match referee, but his suspension was later overturned, with his punishment reduced to a fine of 75 percent of his match fee and three demerit points.
During a press conference after Sylhet Sunrisers game against Comilla Victorians, Bopara protested his innocence, using a ball he had brought into the media engagement to attempt to explain how the grip he used to bowl a knuckle ball had given the impression that he was attempting to gain an unfair advantage
“So, what happened was that, the ball I bowl is a knuckle-ball. You know when I run in hiding the ball, sometimes I run in and hold it like this, sometimes I’ll hold it like that, sometimes [I’ll hold it like this] for off-cutter. And for knuckle, you have to get this grip,” Bopara said, using the ball to demonstrate his various grips.
“To get this grip is not easy, especially with a wet ball. You have to find the best part of the ball to put it which you can feel confident. Otherwise, the ball if it is wet, it can fly. You can bowl no-balls and stuff, so you have to find the right place to put the ball. So sometimes you have to adjust, and then if you feel comfortable you can bowl. There was a mistake there, it is disappointing but this is life.”
Bopara’s ball-tampering incident wasn’t the only controversy that the league saw in 2022, with the BPL persevering through several contentious and bizarre occurrences during this season.