Former Australian Test paceman Geoff Lawson has said ball tampering laws should be relaxed to allow bowlers to pick the seam and redress the growing imbalance between bat and ball.
The former Pakistan coach said he saw nothing untoward in the footage examined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after Sri Lanka's informal complaint about Peter Siddle during the Hobart Test, but believes the relevant law governing changing the condition of the ball has failed to keep pace with the quantum leaps made in bat technology.
''If you're not allowed to touch a cricket ball, let's have standardised bats. If you look at a ball in the SCG museum, it's exactly the same as now but if you look at cricket bats, we've got bazookas now where we had feather dusters before. That is the biggest concern -- the imbalance," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Lawson, as saying.
According to the paper, the current law for balls in cricket permits polishing of the ball ''provided no artificial substance is used'', cleaning under the supervision on an umpire and drying on a piece of cloth. Otherwise, it is illegal to do anything ''likely to alter the condition of the ball''.
''The argument is you should be able to do whatever you want with your fingernails, or whatever, because if the ball moves it's much better for the game, because batsmen have now got this huge advantage, which they didn't have. Restrict it to natural alterations, but let's do it," Lawson said.
''I don''t believe you should be able to adulterate the ball to a ridiculous degree but you should be able to do something to it, surely," he added.