PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 01, Justin Ontong during the SA U/19 and SA A combined media briefing at the High Performance Centre, Hatfield on August 01, 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Cape Cobras captain Justin Ontong was cleared of ball tampering by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday.

Ontong was charged for alleged ball tampering in the Cobras' Sunfoil Series match against the Highveld Lions at Newlands from January 10 to 13.

The ball in question was sent to Kookaburra in Victoria, Australia, for examination and testing.

On February 5 Kookaburra director Rob Elliot reported that “on examination with the naked eye it could easily be assumed that the ball had been tampered with”.

Elliot, however, went on to say that it could not be said with certainty as it would require forensic examination.

“It could be a manufacturing anomaly in so far as the stitch has pulled through the leather,” he said.

CSA disciplinary commissioner Rian Cloete found that: “In view of this report and the lack of any other evidence, I find that there is no conclusive evidence substantiating the allegation of ball tampering as stated in the match report. – Sapa