A local cricket sleuth has presented the controversial theory that ever since the Australian men’s cricket team got caught with sandpaper in their pants, international cricket has been seemingly devoid of reverse swing. Mark Charlesworth has told The Watsonia Bugle that it has to be more than a mere coincidence that ever since so-called Sandpapergate, the presence of reverse swing during international cricket fixtures has been on the decline.

Charlesworth’s conspiratorial theory is sure to stir angst amongst the global cricket scene, as it suggests that all cricketing nations were engaging in ball maintenance subterfuge prior to the incident in Cape Town – despite many figures from those nations taking the moral high-ground and condemning the Australians in the aftermath. Charlesworth said, “Don’t you find it all a bit strange? I mean, for years all the talk has been about reverse swing, and yet throughout the Ashes series just finished we hardly heard a word about it. And that’s in a place that is legendary conducive to swing – especially when players happen to be chewing on just the right kind of mints during the game. Is it possible that all cricketing nations have been put on notice about ball tampering?”

While Charlesworth insisted that he wasn’t condoning the behaviour of David Warner and his cronies during last year’s controversial Test series in South Africa, he claims that the incident shone a blinding light on the double standards applied by many rival nations. Charlesworth said, “I just feel like a lot of people came out to lynch the Aussies after Cape Town, yet now with the cricketing world looking a little closer at ball maintenance, all nations have stopped producing reverse swing. Coincidence? I think not.”