The ball may be polished without the use of an artificial substance, may be dried with a towel if it is wet, and have mud removed from it under supervision; all other actions which alter the condition of the ball are illegal. These are usually taken to include
- Rubbing the ball on the ground
- Scuffing with a fingernail or other sharp object
- Tampering with the seam of the ball
What effect does tampering have on the ball?
- Applying smooth substances like vaseline (lip balm) or sweetened saliva to the smooth side of the ball
- Smooth side becomes Smoother - Creates more pressure difference between the smooth and rough sides.
- Scuff up the ball using cork, rub the ball on the pitch or use spikes on both to scuff up the ball
- A rough side gets rougher - Creates more pressure difference between the smooth and rough sides.
- Picking at the threads of the main seam or 'lifting' the quarter seam
- Picking at the seam makes the seam more prominent helping in conventional swing.
- Picking at the quarter swing helps reverse swing as the gap in the cover which will make the moisture go deeper and make that side heavier, thus facilitating reverse swing