WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand test batter Henry Nicholls has been cleared of ball tampering charges by a New Zealand Cricket code of conduct hearing.
Nicholls was reported by umpires after a domestic first class match last week between his Canterbury province and Auckland. Live stream coverage of the match appeared to show Nicholls, while fielding, brushing the ball on a helmet during the change of ends on the third day of the match Wednesday.
Nicholls was reported under Rule 3.1, Article 1.15 of the Code of Conduct which involves changing the condition of the ball. The charge was referred to a first class Commissioner.
In a statement on Sunday, New Zealand Cricket said Nicholls had been cleared of the charge. He is free to play in Canterbury’s next match and is due to tour Bangladesh with the New Zealand team later this month.
“A disciplinary hearing conducted yesterday by independent commissioners Lee Robinson and John Greenwood examined evidence and heard submissions from Nicholls, match umpires Kim Cotton and Derek Walker, Canterbury coach Peter Fulton, Canterbury High Performance Manager Ant Sharp and New Zealand Cricket Players Association representative Evan Jones,” the statement said.
“The Commissioners found that neither the actions of Nicholls nor the evidence presented met the threshold required to rule a breach of the Code under Rule 3.1, Article 1.15 (Appendix A).
“We find the player’s actions were, in fact, unlikely to alter the condition of the ball or the shape of the ball.”
Nicholls has played 54 tests for New Zealand and has scored nine centuries and 12 half-centuries. In his last test, he scored an unbeaten double century against Sri Lanka.