Gwalior, Nov 14 (UNI) Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir and Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi were heavily fined today after being found guilty of breaching the ICC's Code of Conduct following their on-field spat during the third ODI in Kanpur on Sunday.
After a hearing in front of ICC match referee, Roshan Mahanama here today, the ICC fined Gambhir a total of 65 per cent of his match fee, while his partner-in-crime Afridi has been slapped a fine of 95 per cent of his match fee, an ICC statement said.
Both the players were charged under two counts of the ICC Code of Conduct relating to ''conduct unbecoming to their status which could bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute'' and ''inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play''.
A heated altercation took place between the two cricketers during the Indian innings when Gambhir ran for a single and, in the process, he collided with Afridi, which forced umpire Ian Gould, standing at the bowler's end, to get involved.
Gambhir was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for being found guilty of the offence of inappropriate and deliberate physical contact and 15 per cent of his fee for the disrepute charge, while Afridi was fined 75 per cent of his match fee for the offence of inappropriate and deliberate physical contact and 20 per cent of his fee for the disrepute charge.
''Both the players pleaded not guilty to the charges but even if the collision between them was viewed as an accident I still felt it was inappropriate.
''On top of that, there was a build up to that incident and then they stood toe-to-toe arguing in mid-pitch immediately afterwards,'' match referee Roshan Mahanama said on his decision.
''It is not the sort of example that players should be setting at any time, least of all in a series as high-profile as this one.
''Physical contact is creeping into the game more and more and by handing down these punishments I want to get the message out to all players that it is unacceptable and must not happen,'' he added.