Aussie bowlers rocked by explosive new cheating claims

English cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham has dropped an explosive allegation against Australia's bowlers in relation to the infamous ball-tampering scandal.

Botham has warned Australian duo Steve Smith and David Warner to brace themselves for an earful of abuse from England cricket fans during the World Cup and The Ashes.

The legendary allrounder, speaking at the launch of his range of Australian wines at the Australian High Commission in London, said he had no sympathy for Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft following the sandpaper incident in Cape Town.

Warner, Bancroft and Smith were the only players punished over the incident but Botham claimed there was no way the Australian bowling attack wouldn't have been aware the ball was doctored.

"As a bowler you know everything about the ball and what shape it is in," he said.

Australia's bowlers have strongly denied having any knowledge of the ball-tampering plot. Pic: Getty

"There is not a chance in the world that the bowlers in that team wouldn't have known there had been sandpaper rubbed on that ball."

Botham's accusations are sure to stir up controversy, with Aussie fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood consistently denying any knowledge of the ball-tampering plot.

‘They cheated’

The England great said the Aussie players can expect plenty of stick from fans when they tour England later in the year, with Warner likely to cop the brunt of their vitriol.

"I hate cheating and that is what they did, they cheated," Botham said.

Botham claims there is no way Australia's bowlers were unaware the ball had been tampered with. Pic: Getty

"One of the players (Bancroft) captains my county (Durham) and I'll have to show him that Fosters advert where the Aussie lads are taking phone calls for advice while rubbing a ball with sandpaper.

"The Barmy Army have already done about eight or nine songs - I think David Warner might feature a fair bit in those."

The 63-year-old spends up to six months of the year in Australia working on his wines with South Australia winemakers Geoff Merrill and Marty Edwards and said the country feels like his second home.

After the Ashes Botham will end his 25-year run with Sky Sports' commentary team to focus solely on developing his wines - something he said has been as rewarding as anything he achieved in cricket.

Warner is understood to feature heavily in the Barmy Army's new repertoire of songs. Pic: Getty

However, he's fully confident England will regain The Ashes urn in and even channelled the spirit of Glenn McGrath by predicting a whitewash for Joe Root's side.

"I would say five nil, for Glenn McGrath I'd even say six nil even though there are only five games," he said.

"I think England will win because they have a home advantage and I think the Australian boys will be copping it a fair bit."

With agencies