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March 26, 2004
Justin Langer has been cleared by the match referee, Chris Broad, of a possible breach of the ICC's code of conduct, after being reported by umpires Steve Bucknor and David Orchard for an on-field incident during the third day of the Colombo Test between Sri Lanka and Australia.
Langer attended a disciplinary inquiry after the close of play on Friday night, following a bizarre incident during the morning session, when Australia belatedly appealed for a hit-wicket decision against Hashan Tillakaratne. The umpires referred the decision to the third umpire to verify how Tillakaratne's bail had been dislodged.
The television pictures showed that Langer dislodged the bail with his hand while he crossed over the pitch to take up a new fielding position for the right-handed Thilan Samaraweera. Langer insisted that he did not intentionally flick off the bail.
"Justin was disappointed that the charge was brought and explained his position in a very honest and succinct way," said Broad, following a hearing attended by Langer, Ricky Ponting, Steve Bernard (Australia's team manager), and the three match umpires. "He was, however, reminded that in future to steer clear of any instances such as this."