Big Bash League 2012-13 January 21, 2013

Warne fined $5000 for captaincy charade


Melbourne Stars captain Shane Warne has been fined $5000 for breaching the CA Code of Behaviour when he handed the captaincy to James Faulkner in an effort to avoid a ban for slow over rates in the BBL semi-final against the Perth Scorchers.

It was the second time in the tournament Warne had been fined for a behaviour breach after he served a one-game suspension, and was fined $4500, for his clash with Melbourne Renegades player Marlon Samuels.

Samuels escapes with a reprimand

Warne was found guilty of breaching Rule 5: Laws of Cricket and Spirit of the Game by CA Commissioner Arthur Lodge.

In the semi-final at the WACA last Wednesday night, Faulkner was listed as captain on the Melbourne Stars team sheet and took part in the coin toss with Perth Scorchers captain Simon Katich, despite the presence of both regular captain Shane Warne and stand-in captain Cameron White in the Stars line-up.

Both Warne and White had previously been issued with one strike for a slow over rate violation, with a second strike this season resulting in an automatic one-match suspension.

In a bid to avoid the risk of a suspension, should the Stars advance to the final, Faulkner was given the official captaincy although Warne was clearly directing traffic throughout the match.

On 5 December 2012, KFC T20 Big Bash League teams were sent a Memo by Cricket Australia. Under the heading "Over Rates", the Memo stated, "If a team's official captain is selected but not named as captain, this will be considered against the Spirit of Cricket and may attract a Code of Behaviour charge."

This provision had been written in following Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene pulling a similar stunt during the World T20 Championship in October 2012. Having already been penalised for a slow over-rate in the tournament Jayawardene relinquished the captaincy to Kumar Sangakkara for Sri Lanka's Super Eights clash with England to avoid a possible suspension. Questions were raised over the legitimacy of Jayawardene's move, but the ICC never punished the Sri Lankan for it.

Warne was not present at the Code of Behaviour hearing. He was represented by Melbourne Stars CEO Clint Cooper and team manager Ben Robertson.

He did, however, respond to the verdict via a trio of messages on his Twitter account, claiming he had been unaware of the Memo. "Just got feedback that I was fined $5000 for spirit of cricket," he said. "Clarification - I had no idea about the rule/law... If I was aware of the law/rule I would have tossed the coin, to me I should have been informed and made aware by management!

"Anyway, disappointed it was not a Stars fine rather than me as I was never informed as I said... Glad you all understand now! This issue is for CA and Stars management whether it was a memo or a law. It was never passed on to me, if it was this wouldn't have happened!"

Mike McKenna, CA's executive general manager of operations and BBL chief, said it had been a clear rule breach, but was not perturbed by Warne's non-appearance at the hearing.

"The teams were notified before the season started that this rule was introduced for a very specific purpose," McKenna said in Melbourne. "And the very incident that occurred was that that we were trying to prevent happening. So it was absolutely open and closed as far as we were concerned.

"Shane was over here and the case was heard in Perth. On the night he was charged, we had a Code of Conduct commissioner ready to to to hear the case on the night, but it wasn't appropriate to conduct the hearing that night.

"So we just carried on as normal. It's not unusual for people not to appear if they don't have much of a defence in the circumstances."

Warne is unlikely to appear again in the BBL next season.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 23, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Exactly why Warne never captained Australia. Thankfully one of the rare moments of lucidity displayed by Cricket Australia many moons ago. Too bad they did not take it far enough to appoint Gily, one of the greatest ambassodors the sport has ever known as the captain.

  • Gordon on January 22, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Yeah the poor young children who look up to these guys as role models. By the way just as well Dave Warner got off with a warning about complaining and showing descent when haven forbid the umpire got it wrong. This is one of the reasons I can't see him ever being captain of Australia if he keeps that sort of thing up.

  • Paul on January 22, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    I think Mr. Warne is being paid long tom to make a scene. It creates a spectacle and thereby, attention to the BBL - he's got nothing to lose.

  • Satish on January 22, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    @Marktc : Has the incident happened between Hussey and Samuels when Samuels pulled Hussey, Samuels would have primary offender and got the big punishment. But how Warne reacted was completely unwarranted. Warne is the one who started with verbal assault and Samuels was ok with it. But when it turned physical, how can he keep his cool? Samuels was reactive and Warne was provocative. That gives you the reason for the one who got max and the one who was given lesser punishment..

  • Tameshwar on January 21, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Why penalise only the captain? The entire team match fees should be the normal penality if this is intentional or habitual.That'll make en speed up.Not fun playing for free while your opposition is paid.

  • Jeff on January 21, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    They should just write all this anti-captain nonsense out of the rules. Banning captains does NOTHING to help the game.

  • Kalyan on January 21, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    what's the point of taking away a team's right to name its own captain as it sees fit? is this what 'spirit of cricket' means?

  • Mark on January 21, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    Warnie is a legend, there is no denying this. His history and stats speak for themselves and he deserves bucket loads of respect for this. Having said this, he is not above the rule sand laws of cricket. If he still plays the sport, he should ensure he keep sup to date and adheres to the rules. Simple as that. No use using his brilliant past as an excuse. Cricket cannot have separate laws for legends and mortals...they all play the same sport on the same field..thus the rules apply equally. On a similar not, how did Samuels escape a fine with his involvement in the confrontation with Warne (another issue I know)..both should have received similar punishment.

  • Satish on January 21, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    No matter whether there are rules or not. but somethings are ethical and as they say "Spirit of the game". As a senior player, he should have respected it. It happened the same with Mahela. Being senior players and captains, they should focus on abiding to the situation and finish the job in time rather than insulting the organizers by picking to use the loopholes. if you give away the captaincy to the new guy, you leave the control to him. Don't indulge in the on field control of proceedings. Warne was in full control of the things there as "acting captain" with the actual captain fielding in fine leg/deep..

  • Rayner on January 21, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    As a captain, he should be aware of the rules, or just give the skipper's paycheck to someone else.

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