December 4, 2001

Lee's outburst draws maximum fine

Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has received the maximum possible fine, but escaped suspension, after fronting International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Jackie Hendriks last night on two charges of unbecoming conduct.

Lee was cited over an unsavoury incident that followed the dismissal of New Zealand tailender Shane Bond late on the fourth day of the Third Test at the WACA Ground in Perth.

The fiery paceman verbally abused Bond upon clean bowling the number ten batsman, then followed his words with an aggressive sendoff, angrily motioning in the direction of the pavilion.

It prompted match referee Jackie Hendriks to charge Lee with two breaches of the ICC's Code of Conduct - the use of crude and abusive language and offensive gestures, and conduct unbecoming in bringing the game into disrepute.

In announcing details of a fine that cost the Australian three-quarters of his match payment, Hendriks confirmed that Lee's previously unblemished record had saved him from further punishment.

"I have taken into consideration Brett's previously unblemished record, his obvious regret at the act and his apology to Shane Bond immediately afterwards," said Hendriks in an official statement.

"But such a blatant and public disregard for the Code of Conduct which also goes contrary to the tenets of the spirit of the game as expressed in the preamble to the Laws of the Game, leaves me with no alternative but to impose the maximum fine allowable: 75% of the player's gross match fee."

The imposition of such a fine represents the heaviest financial penalty that can be handed to a player by a match referee under the present terms of the Code of Conduct.