| Smith’s absence is a big blow to South Africa
Rawalpindi, Oct. 11 (AFP): International Cricket Council Match Referee Clive Lloyd on Saturday banned South African captain Graeme Smith for one limited overs international match and fined him 50 per cent of his match fee for breaching the code of conduct.
Teammate Andrew Hall was banned for a one-dayer and two Tests and Pakistan’s Yousuf Youhana was fined 50 percent of his fee, the ICC announced in a statement.
All three were penalised following a hearing in Rawalpindi on Friday for a breach of the cricketers’ code of conduct during the second one-day International in Lahore last Sunday.
The penalties relate to charges brought by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed based on video evidence of an incident when Pakistan were batting during the second match of the five-match series. Speed reviewed the television footage of the event and directed Lloyd to summon the offenders for a hearing.
Hall apparently elbowed Youhana on his follow through. Both were engaged in a verbal argument and were charged with bringing the game into disrepute. Hall was further charged with inappropriate and deliberate contact.
Smith was charged for using abusive language during the incident.
The ban on Hall means he will miss both Tests against Pakistan with the first starting from October 17 in Lahore.
Hall’s absence will force the tourists to either call a replacement or retain Alan Dawson, who was due to return home after completing the five match one-day series.
Pakistan did not complain about the confrontation to the Match Referee, but Speed took notice of the incident. Speed reviewed the TV footage of the event and directed Lloyd to summon the offenders for a hearing.
“Having considered all the evidence I have found all three players in breach of ICC code of conduct,” said Lloyd in a written statement. “The provisions of the code are there to ensure that the game is played in the right spirit and the penalties imposed reflect the fact that on this occasion these players acted in a manner that was not consistent with their obligations as professional cricketers.”
South African team management said it was extremely disappointing to miss Smith and Hall in Sunday’s series decider.
“We are extremely disappointed over the penalties and will be appealing the two Tests ban on Hall in the given time limit with the Match Referee,” team spokesman Gerald de Cock said on Saturday after a team meeting. The 45 minute-hearing was attended by Smith, Hall and Youhana.
The hearing also included managers of both teams, Haroon Rasheed of Pakistan and Cassim Docrat of South Africa, and the two coaches, Javed Miandad of Pakistan and Eric Simons of South Africa.
ICC has taken a strong view of players’ behaviour in the last two years and in the upgraded Code of Conduct levied severe penalties for breaches of the code during international matches.