March 9, 2001

Slater fined, banned from playing second Test

Australian opening batsman Michael Slater was today banned by the ICC match referee Cammie Smith from playing the second Test against India in the Eden Gardens, giving a jolt to the visitors keen to clinch a dream series win in India.

The 31-year-old dashing opener has also been fined 50 per cent of his match fee and served a suspended suspension for six months from March 9 for violating the ICC code of conduct and regulations.

Slater, who was summoned for a hearing by the match referee today, was penalised for making some comments during an Australian radio interview regarding his controversial catch of Rahul Dravid and the warning by Smith during the first Test in Mumbai.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President, Jagmohan Dalmiya said that Smith had intimated the decision to him today. Dalmiya said that Smith had informed his decision to the managers of the two teams as well as the two cricket boards.

Slater, who has not been in form since landing in the country in mid-February, was found guilty of breaching Clause 6 of the ICC Code of Conduct and Regulations.

Slater put himself in trouble when he entered into an argument with umpire S Venkatraghavan after a catch of Rahul Dravid was disallowed by the third umpire after watching television replays on the third day of the first Test.

After putting his views across to umpire Venkatraghavan, Slater walked up to Rahul Dravid and exchanged a few words with him.

The match referee, after hearing Slater at the end of the day's play, decided to let him off with a 'warning' but decided to be more stern with the punishment after the opening batsman gave his comments on the incident on the radio.

Slater, who practiced along with the other members of the Australian team at the Eden Gardens in the morning, apparently had no inkling of the impending suspension.

With Slater forced to sit out of the Test, the Australians will have to make certain changes to their winning combination which has steamrolled to a record-smashing 16 consecutive Test victories.