India pacer Ishant Sharma and Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal have been fined for their on-field behaviour during the first Twenty20 international here yesterday. Ishant was fine 15 percent of his match fee and Kamran five percent.
The two cricketers were found guilty of Level 1 breaches of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Code following an altercation during the match that Pakistan won by five wickets.
Akmal was fined by Match Referee Roshan Mahanama, after he pleaded guilty to breaches of Article 2.1.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct of ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game’ in the 18th over of the Pakistan innings.
Sharma also pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the same charge. However, Sharma appealed the penalty and a hearing was held. After reviewing the evidence and the video footage, Mahamana re-confirmed his view that Sharma initiated this incident, which was reported by all four umpires — on-field S Ravi and C Shamsuddin, third umpire VA Kulkarni and fourth official K Srinath.
“This is clearly a high profile and high intensity series and the players on both sides have been reminded of their responsibility. Both players recognised their duty to set the right type of example through their on-field behaviour and they have accepted that they fell short of the level of conduct required,” said Mahanama.
However, both captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Mohammad Hafeez played down the incident, saying it was a minor argument that ended with exchange of smiles. Players got into verbal spat after Akmal was declared ‘not out’ as he was caught off a no ball by Ishant, and was beaten on the next ball.
“It happened because of some misunderstanding between the two. The bowler said something else and the batsman understood something else. I am pleased that Ishant did not abuse him. We will try to keep this in check,” Dhoni said.
While Dhoni’s counterpart Hafeez said the issue was doused on the ground itself. “We have come here to play competitive cricket and such incidents do happen. It is part of the game,” he said.