Yorkshire and England seamer Ajmal Shahzad is being investigated by the England and Wales Cricket Board after he was caught on camera allegedly scuffing the pitch while he was batting in the drawn County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Saturday September 3.
Umpires Peter Hartley and Jeff Evans did not spot anything untoward at the time but the alleged offence was noticed by a Warwickshire fielder who then found evidence on footage captured by the fixed point cameras that counties use for coaching purposes.
It is understood that the umpires were shown footage after the match and have since reported Shahzad to Lord’s. The incident took place while Warwickshire’s players were congratulating their captain Jim Troughton on a brilliant boundary catch to dismiss Adil Rashid which left Shahzad alone on the pitch.
The ECB refuse to comment on disciplinary cases until they have been dealt with. But Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, said: “I was made of aware of the incident on the day and told that the umpires would be making a report. I didn’t see the incident myself. All we can do now is await the outcome.”
If Shahzad, who is believed to have apologised to the umpires, is summoned to appear at a disciplinary hearing he is more likely to face a three-point penalty under the ECB ‘totting-up’ disciplinary procedure rather than a suspension.
Batsman are not permitted to run down the pitch or to scuff up the surface to provide assistance for bowlers. Shahzad was batting when Yorkshire were trying to set up a declaration.
The case has similarities with Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi who was suspended for one Test match and two one-day internationals in 2005 after television cameras caught him scuffing the pitch during a Test against England in Faisalabad.