Monty Panesar has revealed how he was pressured into flirting with cricket’s ball-tampering laws to help help Jimmy Anderson.
In an excerpt of his book ‘The Full Monty' published by the Daily Mail, Panesar said he came into the England XI with strict edicts from senior members of the team.
"Whether we broke the laws depends on how you interpret them,” the 37-year-old was quoted as writing.
“We found that mints and sun cream had an effect on the saliva, and that helped the ball to reverse.”
Panesar’s revelation comes as Australian duo Steve Smith and David Warner prepare to face the Barmy Army in the Cricket World Cup and the subsequent Ashes series following their ball-tampering bans.
Cricket Australia banned Warner from holding an official leadership position after he enlisted young batsman Cameron Bancroft to use sandpaper in a Test against South Africa.
Similarly, Panesar said he was told to fall in line or risk missing out on a fair shot.
"We all tried to change the condition of the ball, because reverse swing has such a huge impact,” he wrote.
“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’.
"Opening bowler Jimmy Anderson would say 'I just want you to keep that ball as dry as possible’.“
Panesar said he knew how much wiggle room he had based on the way the laws were written.
"I might also have 'accidentally' caught the ball on the zip of my trouser pocket to rough it up a little.
"That was probably a hairline fracture of the spirit of the game, even if the laws said you were allowed to 'use your uniform',” he said.
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 played 50 Tests between 2006 and 2013.