Former England spinner Monty Panesar made shocking revelations about ball tampering, saying he would use sun screen, mints and also the zip of his trouser to make the ball reverse swing. In his book ‘The Full Monty', Panesar said he was told to keep the ball as dry as possible by the likes of James Anderson for whom he used to prepare the ball. "Whether we broke the laws depends on how you interpret them. We found that mints and sun cream had an effect on the saliva, and that helped the ball to reverse," the 37-year old was quoted as saying.
"I might also have 'accidentally' caught the ball on the zip of my trouser pocket to rough it up a little. We all tried to change the condition of the ball, because reverse swing has such a huge impact. When I came into the England side, my job was to prepare the ball for the seamers. They’d say, ‘Listen mate, if you want to bowl with us it’s on one condition. Make sure you don’t get your sweaty hands on our shiny side.’ Anderson would say: 'I just want you to keep that ball as dry as possible.'"
Panesar, who played 50 tests between 2006 and 2013, said although rules of the game said the use of uniform was legal, there was some breach of the spirit. "That was probably a hairline fracture of the spirit of the game, even if the laws said you were allowed to 'use your uniform'." Law 42.3 of the MCC's Laws of Cricket states that a fielder is free to polish a ball “provided that no artificial substance is used".
Panesar stated that he was suffering from "paranoia/schizophrenia" since the last couple of years. However, the England spinner said that he is completely fit now. He credited former England captain Mike Brearley who helped him in his difficult phase. "I want people to remember the good Monty, but it takes a while to eradicate bad memories. It's like I'm a fireball and people are worried if they get too close to me they'll get burnt. I'm 100 per cent back to my best," he said.
Panesar was fined by police in 2013 for urinating on bouncers at a Brighton nightclub after being drunk. He was sacked from Sussex and left out of England's Ashes squad as well. He went on to play for Essex, but was given time off due to personal issues. Anxiety and paranoia stalled his game. He was called up by Cricket Australia to mentor young spinners in 2017. He has been without a County club since 2016.