Dhoni, Mustafizur fined for on-field collision

Dhaka, June 19 (IANS) India One-Day International (ODI) skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman both were fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday following their mid-pitch collision in Thursday night’s match that the hosts won.

“Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been fined 50 and 75 per cent of their match fees respectively after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the first ODI in Mirpur on Thursday,” the ICC said in a statement.

The two players were found to have breached Article 2.2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play during an International Match”.

Dhoni and debutant left-armer Mustafizur collided in the 25th over as India’s skipper was running to the danger end on a quick single.

The impact jarred the bowler and drew a quick rebuke from Dhoni before umpires quickly intervened to ensure things remained cool on the field.

The bowler had already been spoken to after appearing to stray into the path of India opener Rohit Sharma earlier during the match, but a collision was avoided.

However, when the bowler crossed the pitch, seeming initially to be attempting to field the ball before letting a teammate collect it, Dhoni did not alter his path and crashed into the Bangladeshi, shoulder first.

The impact forced Mustafizur to temporarily leave the field and seek treatment. However, he was able to return and inspire his side to an important 79-run victory that continued Bangladesh’s impressive recent form in the 50-over game.

“Both the players pleaded not guilty to the charge and as such, a hearing was held by match referee Andy Pycroft, in which television footage was used. Apart from the match officials, both the players and their managers attended the hearing,” ICC added.

Explaining his decision, Pycroft said: “In the hearing, Dhoni defended himself on the basis that the bowler was on the wrong line and realising that he couldn’t avoid the collision, he used his hand and arm to push him away as he went through to ‘minimise the impact’.”

“However, my assessment was that Dhoni deliberately pushed and shouldered Mustafizur, which was inappropriate. Even if there was a narrow gap between the runner (Suresh Raina) and the bowler, an experienced Dhoni should have tried to avoid the collision as cricket is a non-contact sport and the players are expected to avoid physical contact at all times. On this basis, I fined Dhoni 75 per cent of his match fee.”

Having initially pleaded not guilty to the offence, upon being presented with the evidence during the hearing and upon questioning, Mustafizur admitted his guilt and accepted the proposed sanction.

 

 

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