Home Sports Indian triumph dampened by fines for Sreesanth, India

Indian triumph dampened by fines for Sreesanth, India

By Fakir Hassen, IANS

Durban : Even as the India cricket team celebrated their historic semi final win over Australia in the inaugural ICC Twenty20 Championship here, they were informed of fines against the team and player Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

There was a slight damper on the triumph when Sreesanth was fined 25 percent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the game, with a warning that he could have faced a stiffer punishment because of earlier contraventions.

The India team was also fined for maintaining a slow over-rate after falling one over short of its requirement when time allowances were taken into consideration.

As his team mates indulged in playful horseplay in the dressing room area, throwing each other with buckets of water, Sreesanth was pleading guilty to a Level 1 offence in a hearing convened by Emirates Elite Panel ICC Match Referee Chris Broad. Also present at the hearing were India manager Sunil Dev and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Sreesanth accepted that he breached clause 1.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to excessive appealing following a delivery he bowled to Matthew Hayden during the fourth over of Australia’s innings.

Explaining his decision, Broad said: “When appealing for a decision a player has to realize he only needs to ask the question once and not over and over again, especially after the umpire has already turned down the appeal.

“Sreesanth was out of order and the incident set a poor example for the millions of people watching either at the venue or on television.

“It was a point he accepted by pleading guilty and, given the fact he has already made regular appearances in Code of Conduct hearings over the past 12 months, he can consider himself fortunate not to be facing a heavier punishment.

“In addition to the fine levied, I also warned Sreesanth about his conduct going forward and if he continues to breach the Code of Conduct he can expect more severe penalties to come his way.”

Broad said he was pleased that recently appointed captain of the one-day side, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, had accepted his role in the conduct of his players and would address the responsibilities of team members, including Sreesanth.

Somewhat ironically, it was Sreesanth who eventually bowled out Hayden in his comeback in the 14th over to turn the game round for India with a yorker that went under the bat and uprooted the off stump.

India’s slow-over rate saw the team one over short of completing its allocation after time allowances were taken into consideration. That failing saw the players docked five percent of their match fees with Dhoni, as captain, fined double that amount, a 10 percent punishment.

Level 1 breaches of the ICC Code of Conduct carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand up to a maximum punishment of 50 percent of a player’s match fee.

A player does not have a right of appeal in the case of Level 1 offences.

The charges were brought by on-field umpires Mark Benson and Asad Rauf, third official Billy Doctrove and Tony Hill, the fourth umpire.

Knocking out Australia will see a sub-continental final of the inaugural tournament at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday when India meet Pakistan, who beat New Zealand earlier on Saturday in the other semi-final.