New Delhi, Nov 12

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New Zealand Cricket Code of Conduct hearing has cleared Test batter Henry Nicholls of ball tampering charges reported during a Plunket Shield match.

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Nicholls was seen brushing the ball against a helmet during a change of ends in TV footage of the Plunket Shield match between Canterbury and Auckland last week.

He was reported under Rule 3.1, Article 1.15 of the Code of Conduct which involves changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 41.3 of the Laws of Cricket

According to the ESPNCricinfo report, a disciplinary hearing cleared the 31-year-old batter of the ball-tampering charges stating "that neither actions of Nicholls nor the evidence presented met the threshold required to rule a breach."

"We find the Player's actions were, in fact, unlikely to alter the condition of the ball or the shape of the ball," the commissioners noted.

"That meant any allegation of unacceptable behaviour under Rule 3.1 could not be upheld. The charge against the Player was therefore dismissed," An NZC statement further read.

Nicholls 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 on Saturday by independent commissioners Lee Robinson and John Greenwood examined the 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.

Nicholls has played 54 Tests for New Zealand and has scored nine centuries and 12 half-centuries.

He made 120 and 30 not out in the Plunket Shield match against Auckland, helping Canterbury to an eight-wicket win.

Nicholls is set to be part of New Zealand's squad for the upcoming two-Test series in Bangladesh.

New Zealand Test batter Henry Nicholls cleared of ball tampering charges

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