Plunket Shield – New Zealand Test batter Henry Nicholls faces ball-tampering charges

Henry Nicholls has been accused of breaking New Zealand Cricket’s code of conduct after being reported by umpires for ball-tampering in a domestic first-class match.
TV footage of the Plunket Shield match between Nicholls’ Canterbury and Auckland this week appeared to show Nicholls brushing the ball against a helmet during a change of ends.

“Nicholls has been reported for allegedly breaching Rule 3.1, article 1.15 of the Code during Day 3 of the Plunket Shield match between Canterbury and Auckland at Hagley Oval,” New Zealand Cricket said in a statement Friday.

The rule “involves changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 41.3 of the Laws of Cricket”.

New Zealand Cricket said the allegation had been referred to a commissioner for first-class cricket. No date has yet been set for the hearing. Nicholls is due to tour Bangladesh with the New Zealand Test squad later this month.

Nicholls has not commented on the charge.

In the game between Canterbury and Auckland, Nicholls played a leading role in taking his side to an eight-wicket win. After Auckland were bowled out for 217 in their first innings, Canterbury declared their first innings on 413 for 9, with Nicholls top-scoring with 120. He added another unbeaten 30 when Canterbury, set a victory target of 61, got there for the loss of two wickets.

New Zealand’s leading limited-overs players are in India competing at the ODI World Cup, where a win over Sri Lanka on Thursday moved the 2019 runners-up closer to qualifying for the semi-finals.

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