Watson, Riaz fined for on-field altercation

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Adelaide, March 21 (IANS) Australia’s Shane Watson and Wahab Riaz of Pakistan have both been fined for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during their sides’ cricket World Cup quarter-final here on Friday.

Watson and Wahab were fined 15 and 50 percent of their match fees respectively by match referee Ranjan Madugalle on Saturday morning, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced.

Australian right-handed batsman Watson was found to have breached Article 2.1.8 (a) of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game’.

Left-arm Pakistani pacer Riaz was charged under 2.1.4 of the Code, which relates to ‘using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match’.

The incident happened in the 33rd over of Australia’s innings when Watson ignored the umpires’ instructions and verbally engaged with Wahab, who, at the end of the over, followed through towards the batsman and used aggressive and abusive language.

Both the players admitted the offences and accepted the sanctions proposed by Madugalle and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.

Explaining his decision, Madugalle said, “It was an enthralling contest between Shane and Wahab, but in the closing stages of the match both players crossed that fine line between intense competition and unacceptable behaviour, and this resulted in the sanctions.”

The charges were levelled by on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus, third umpire Richard Illingworth and fourth umpire Billy Bowden.

All Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee.

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