Lahore, Oct 12 (UNI) Pakistan vice-captain Salman Butt has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for making serious public criticism of match officials during his side's second Test against South Africa which ended in a draw here today.
In a hearing that took place after fourth day's play yesterday, match referee Alan Hurst penalised Butt for breaching clause 2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to ''serious public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on, a match-related incident or match official''.
''It is the responsibility of the captain or vice-captain to set examples on and off the field in not only what they do, but also what they say.
''Negative comments about some umpiring decisions, made by Salman Butt at a media conference and later printed in more than one newspaper, were very specific and could have the effect of creating addition tensions on the field and also undermining the mutual respect that is essential between umpires and players,'' Hurst said.
''If players or officials have any views of this nature, then there are appropriate and far less controversial ways for them to be aired including the captains' reports that are submitted to match referees after every game and I expect avenues such as this to be explored in future.
''In reaching my decision, I took the player's previous good record, his guilty plea and an apology for his actions into consideration,'' he added.
Speaking to mediapersons yesterday, the 23-year-old left-hander criticised the on-field umpires umpires Simon Taufel and Mark Benson for some decisions which went against his side.
''There have been a few decisions where I feel we were unlucky.
I think Yousuf was not out yesterday and when you get one such decision against your premier batsman it does affect you,'' Butt had said.
The charge was brought by both the on-field umpires as well as the third official Nadeem Ghauri and the fourth umpire Iftikhar Malik.
All Level two breaches carry a minimum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee and a maximum penalty of their full match fee or a one Test match or two One-Day International ban.
However, the young vice-captain does have a right of appeal which must be lodged in writing with the ICC Legal Counsel setting out the grounds of appeal within 24 hours of the match referee's decision.