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December 18, 2009
Brad Haddin has conceded that he was not proud of his involvement in an incident on the second day in Perth that led to him and Mitchell Johnson being fined and Sulieman Benn being banned for two ODIs. Haddin was docked 25% of his match fee by the match referee Chris Broad after pleading guilty to a Level 1 Code of Conduct offence for bringing the game into disrepute.
Following a run-in between Benn and the non-striker Johnson during Australia's innings, Haddin inflamed the situation by pointing his bat at Benn, who reacted angrily. At the end of the over, Benn and Johnson clashed physically, which was viewed as the more serious part of the incident, but Haddin said he regretted his own role in the matter.
"We're obviously playing in a competitive environment in Test cricket and no-one wants to give an inch," Haddin said on ABC radio. "From a personal point of view I was probably a bit animated in my approach to what happened. That's not good for the fans of the game and it's something that I'm not proud of."
Haddin's guilty plea helped his cause but Benn chose to plead not guilty to the Level 2 offence that led to his suspension, despite the fact that he apologised to the umpires on the field after the affray. Broad said Benn's apology was taken into account when his sentence was handed down and the bowler can appeal the decision, although he had not yet decided to do so.
Broad did not elaborate on why Benn was given the greater charge, other than to say the umpires made the Level 2 report and Broad's decision showed he felt it was appropriate. He said the initial collision between Benn and Johnson, when the batsman was trying to run and the bowler was attempting to field, was not a concern.
"No, I think that's part and parcel of the game," Broad said. "It happens on an infrequent basis and in general it's acceptable. I don't think there were any issues with that at all. It was what happened afterwards that was not very good.
"No-one likes to see that kind of thing appearing on television. Hopefully that's what these punishments handed out are for, that they are aware television cameras are in their face all the time and wherever possible try and tone their antics down."
Broad's ban of Benn continued his stance as a strict match referee. His previous rulings have included suspending Gautam Gambhir for a Test for elbowing Shane Watson, banning Shahid Afridi for four ODIs for brandishing his bat at a spectator, and barring Herschelle Gibbs for two Tests for making abusive comments towards the crowd. However, Broad insisted that player behaviour was improving.
"When I first started, there were a lot of players who didn't understand the system and were falling foul of the code of conduct," he said. "Over the last five years there has undoubtedly been a major improvement in players' behaviour, which has come not only from the code of conduct but from the home boards. Player behaviour has improved immeasurably.
"It's the newer players who are coming in who perhaps don't understand the system as well as the more established players, who are the ones who are perhaps causing an issue or two. But they will understand the system very quickly."
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