India lodges 'provoked' complaint against Punter's boys

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Hobart, Feb.25 : The Indian one-day cricket team today filed a written complaint against Match Referee Jeff Crowe about the provocative behaviour of Ricky Ponting's men, and threatened to take "befitting action" if it was repeated in future.

Young fast bowler Ishant Sharma was docked 15 per cent of his match fee on Monday morning for finger-pointing a departing and abrasive Andrew Symonds from the middle in Sunday's tri-series game.

It led the Indians to draft a strongly-worded letter to Crowe in which they have mentioned specific incidents of "provocation" by the Australians.

"We accept the match referee's decision for Ishant to have transgressed the Level 1.6 ICC Code of Conduct," Indian team manager Vimal Soni said, adding "we also wanted him to have a look at the provocation which Australians have been repeatedly providing in the series."

"Much has happened in recent past and we didn't want to open up old wounds by making a complaint against the Australians. But we have mentioned specific incidents in the letter to match referee," Soni said.

The specific incidents, it is learnt, concerned the repeated jabbering which Ponting eportedly kept directing at Harbhajan Singh in Sunday's game as well as left-handed opener Matthew Hayden being accused of constantly calling Harbhajan a "mad boy."

The Indian team's tour of Australia has been marked by a racism row and a series of on-field altercations.

Another incident which came up for mention in the match referee's hearing this morning was the gloves Dhoni wore in the initial part of Australia's innings.

Meanwhile, Australian captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 20 percent of his match fee and each of the Australian players fined 10 percent for maintaining a slow over rate during their 18-run triumph over India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Ponting's side was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration in the 10th match of the ongoing tri-series on Sunday.

In accordance with the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations governing over rate penalties, players are fined five percent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.

Commenting on his decision, ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe said: "Prior to the match in Melbourne, I had talks with the Australia team management in which I had again reminded them of their responsibilities regarding over rates. I understand and accept that it was a close and high-scoring match."

"In such circumstances, getting through their overs in the early stages would assist them to have enough time available to work with the bowlers and set fielding placing when the match enters the last 10 overs or crucial stages," Crowe added.

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

ANI

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