| LEHMANN: To miss a Cup tie
Adelaide, Jan. 18 (Reuters): Australia’s Darren Lehmann has been suspended for five ODIs for his racist outburst in a recent match with Sri Lanka, the ICC announced on Saturday.
The batsman became the first player ever to be suspended for breaching the ICC’s strict code of conduct on racial vilification during Wednesday’s game in Brisbane.
Match Referee Clive Lloyd said Lehmann could have been given an eight-match ban but received a lesser penalty because of his good record and because he had apologised to the Lankans.
“Darren’s comments could be interpreted as deeply offensive and I do not think that we can condone such things in sport or life in general,” Lloyd said.
The Australian Cricket Board’s chairman James Sutherland said Australia supported the ICC decision.
“It is important that all players not only know their formal code of behaviour responsibilities, but that they also fully understand that these are a reflection of community expectations,” Sutherland said
Lehmann’s ban means he will miss the rest of the tri-series with Sri Lanka and England, and possibly Australia’s first World Cup game. He was found guilty after a three-hour hearing in Adelaide on Saturday.
The 32-year-old, reading from a prepared statement, said he would not appeal.
“I accept the penalty and would like to say once again how regretful I am,” he said.
Lehmann was reported after he was overheard making an offensive remark about the Sri Lankans when he was alone in the dressing room after being dismissed.
He immediately apologised to the Lankans and provided a formal, written apology after the match.
The Lankans said they had accepted Lehmann’s apology and did not wish to pursue the matter, but the ICC decided to charge him anyway.
The Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore told the hearing his players held Lehmann in high regard and did not want to see him suspended.
n Australian Open: Page 14
n India out of SAFF Cup: Page 15