Henry Nicholls Image Credit: AFP

Wellington: Test batter Henry Nicholls has been accused of breaking New Zealand Cricket’s code of conduct after being reported by umpires for ball tampering in a domestic first-class match this week.

Television footage of the Plunket Shield match between Nicholls’ Canterbury province and Auckland appears to show Nicholls brushing the ball against a helmet during a change of ends.

“Nicholls has been reported for allegedly breaching Rule 3.1, article 1.15 of the Code during Day 3 of the Plunket Shield match between Canterbury and Auckland at Hagley Oval,” New Zealand Cricket said in a statement Friday. The rule “involves changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 41.3 of the Laws of Cricket."

New Zealand Cricket said the allegation had been referred to a commissioner for first-class cricket.

No date has yet been set for the hearing. Nicholls is due to tour Bangladesh with the New Zealand squad later this month.

Nicholls has not commented on the charge.

New Zealand's leading limited-overs players are in India competing at the Cricket World Cup , where a win over Sri Lanka on Thursday moved the 2019 runnersup closer to qualifying for the semifinals.