Bayliss dismisses tampering claims


England coach Trevor Bayliss has dismissed claims that James Anderson had engaged in ball tampering on day four of the fourth Ashes Test.

The claims began circulating on social media though Australian news outlets and some former players after footage appeared to show Anderson digging his fingernail into the ball.

According to Bayliss the umpires had seen the action and believed it to be within the rules.

Bayliss told BT Sport after play on day four: "As soon as I saw it during the rain break, I went to the umpires to find out what was going on.

"And in their words it was a beat-up. You're allowed to clean the ball and that's what we were doing. There was no problem at all, they said."

Bayliss dismissed the media furore as simple pommie-bashing a symptom of England doing well in Melbourne.

He said: "We've had a good couple of days and there was no too much positive press for them, so it was a bit of pommie-bashing I suppose.

"But we are used to that. We knew when we came out it was going to be 24 million versus 11, and we just have to laugh it off."  

The ICC and umpires have confirmed that no action will be taken against Anderson or England but did indicate that both teams had been warned to stop attempting to scuff one side of the ball to get it to reverse swing.

Bayliss added: "It has been both teams.

"To get the ball to go reverse, one side has to be rough, the other smooth and dry, so all teams around the world try to get it reversing as soon as possible. The umpires don't want it to be too over the top, so a quiet word to both captains soon stops it."

When rain stopped play for good on day four Australia were 103 for 2 in their second innings still needing 61 runs to make England bat again.