Madugalle faces flak for letting off Johnson

Mar 05, 2010, 07:07 IST | Khalid A-H Ansari

The bitter cricketing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand came to a head, literally, during their ODI in Napier on Wednesday

The bitter cricketing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand came to a head, literally, during their ODI in Napier on Wednesday

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson head-butted Kiwi batsman Scott Styris in the first ODI at Napier, New Zealand.

New Zealand won the thriller with Styris, who remained unbeaten on a match-winning 49, hitting a six from the second ball of the 50th over.

Ranjan Madugalle. Pic/Getty Images

Chasing Australia's 275 for eight, the Black Caps scored 281 for eight off 49.2 overs, thanks to a scintillating 70 from man-of-the-match Ross Taylor, standing in as captain for the injured Daniel Vettori.

Styris was fined 15 per cent of his match fee but Johnson was let off with a mere fine of 60 per cent.

Observers believe the pace bowler should have been suspended for, at least, two games. They consider the punishment farcical, given the seriousness of the offence.

The incident has re-enforced ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle's growing dubious reputation as the blue-eyed boy of certain influential elements in the ICC.

It has not done the former Sri Lankan Test captain's perception, as being biased in applying rules of the game, much good.

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