Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram dropped a bombshell on Friday when he claimed that bowlers in the third edition of the IPL are tampering with the ball by rubbing red soil on it. The bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders criticised the field umpires for not taking notice of the ball being tampered with once the floodlights are on and batsmen looking to accelerate. "I won't name anyone but I have seen quite a few cricketers who have been rubbing mud on the ball and that is also tampering," Akram said. "Around the 18th, 19th over, in places like Rajasthan , Mumbai or Ahmedabad , where there is red soil, it is difficult to see the ball under lights and by putting the mud on the ball these players are trying to contain the batsmen or get wickets," he added. "If umpires are not watching then I don't know who is. In this IPL, umpires should look for players who are putting mud on the ball because you can't alter the state of the ball with anything," the legendary left-arm fast bowler told espnstar.com. Akram, however, denied that the practice of spinners vigorously running their hands over mud before bowling does not amount to tampering. "That is different; that is just to get some grip on the ball but here someone is just going berserk rubbing the mud on the ball," he said. He, however, denied that rubbing mud on the ball would result in reverse swing. Akram, who took over as bowling coach at KKR at the start of this season, admitted that fast bowler Ishant Sharma is struggling to find his rhythm but backed him to bounce back. "He is out of rhythm but is working extremely hard. He just needs a couple of good games and the rhythm will be back. T20 it is difficult to regain form because, unlike Test matches and ODIs, there are just four overs bowled here and that too on dead tracks," Akram said. He said a county stint would help Ishant immensely. "I think he will be playing for Hampshire this season. And that will improve his bowling and organisational skills because in England he will be alone," Akram said.
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