WI fined for slow over-rate; Edwards for breaching Code of Conduct

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Johannesburg, Sep 13 (UNI) West Indies player Fidel Edwards has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct while his team was also fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the opening match of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup against South Africa.

Edwards was found guilty of a Level 1 offence by Emirates Elite Panel ICC Match Referee Chris Broad in a hearing that took place yesterday morning in Johannesburg, a day after the game.

The player was charged under clause C1 of the ICC Code of Conduct which states ''Players and / or Team Officials shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws of Cricket.'' Edwards was found guilty of instigating a coming together with South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs during the ninth over of the home side's innings in the match played on September 11.

Edwards bowled a bouncer to Gibbs and, after following through, the bowler continued down the pitch to retrieve the ball from the wicketkeeper. But as he did so he appeared to say something to Gibbs and then brushed shoulders with the batsman.

The charge was brought by the four umpires on duty at the match 'on-field officials Mark Benson and Daryl Harper, third umpire Nigel Llong and Karl Hurter, the fourth umpire' and video evidence was used during the course of the hearing.

Commenting on his decision, Chris Broad said, ''There was no question that the bowler was fired up and I have no problem with that. He had just taken a wicket and was desperate to ensure his side got another one as quickly as possible.'' ''However, the fact remains that cricket is a non-contact sport, a point that has been emphasized by the punishments handed out for two incidents in international cricket in recent times (to James Anderson of England and India's S Sreesanth),'' he added.

''The issue was specifically mentioned by the ICC's Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle in his pre-tournament briefing to the managers, captains and coaches of all 12 competing teams here in South Africa and so to have an incident of this type in the first match of the tournament is both unfortunate and unacceptable.

''I hope the fine I have handed down sends a clear message to all players that avoidable contact is not going to be tolerated, and if it happens again the punishment is likely to be even more severe.

The hearing was attended by Chris Broad, Fidel Edwards, the four match officials, West Indies team manager Mike Findlay, captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and coach David Moores.

The fine on the West Indies team for its slow over-rate was imposed by Broad after Sarwan's side was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration.

In accordance with the ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.

As such, Sarwan was fined 20 per cent of his match fee while each of his players received 10 per cent fines.

The offence is contrary to Section J of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to slow over-rates.

For such offences, the decision of the ICC match referee is also final and binding. The full ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Officials can be found here UNI

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