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Martin Williamson looks at the players who have been hauled up in front of the match referee the most times
September 26, 2006
With the ICC hearing into charges against Inzamam-ul-Haq set to start at The Oval this week, we look at the players who have been hauled up on Code of Conduct charges the most times since the ICC regulations came into force in 1992. It is unsurprising that Australia, India and Pakistan feature highly because of the amount of one-day cricket they play. A quick look back to 1992 shows some names that had the Code been in force a few years earlier would certainly have been on this list - Merv Hughes (three censures in two years) and Javed Miandad head the naughties. As a break with tradition, this list includes 14 miscreants as eight have tied for seventh place
1= Inzamam-ul-Haq (12) Somewhat surprising for a man who embodies calmness on the field, the taciturn Inzamam has been a regular visitor to the headmaster's study, and the bulk of his crimes have involved dissent. His first offence was the infamous bust-up with an obnoxious spectator at Toronto for which he received a two-match ban. In 2005 he managed four breaches in nine weeks - all involving Broad - for various misdemeanours including dissent, arguing with umpires and the old favourite of over rates. His actions at The Oval have resulted in two more to his tally - bringing him level with Ganguly - and he now has probably the most high-profile of any Code of Conduct breaches so far to his collection.
3 Shoaib Akhtar (7) The comfortable leader among those who cannot claim captaincy as a mitigating factor. While excessive appealing and some less than complimentary send-offs to batsmen feature predominantly, the most serious charge came in May 2004 when he was banned for two ODIs after Gundappa Viswanath ruled he had "changed the condition of the ball". Five months later an automatic two-Test ban came after he was found guilty of "using obscene and offensive language towards Paul Adams". He also incurred possibly the most trivial report after his bat's logos were found to be too big, one of the most serious issues afflicting the modern game.
4= Graeme Smith (6) Smith cannot really hide behind the captain's excuse as he would still feature on this list even he were in the ranks rather than an officer. At least he is consistent in his offences, as all his personal ones relate to either showing dissent or using obscene and offensive language. That could be why Kevin Pietersen recently claimed that Smith has few friends in the game.
6 Ricky Ponting (5) There will be more than a few raised eyebrows that Ponting does not feature higher, so often does he appear to query the thinking behind umpires' decisions. But none of his five wrist-slaps have been in his role as captain, and all relate to him losing his rag, with the exception of his blatant wearing of a wrist band with a logo that was too big in 1995. Age is not mellowing Ponting, as three offences have taken place in the last 14 months, the most spectacular his tirade against anyone within earshot which followed his run-out by England's substitute Gary Pratt at Trent Bridge in 2005.
7= Adam Gilchrist (4) All four counts are for dissent, although Gilchrist showed what a team player is as two of them relate to occasions when he was at the non-striker's end and he decided to give the official the benefit of his opinion as his partner trudged off. In fairness, he was probably in as good a position to see as almost anyone.
7= Harbhajan Singh (4) Anyone who thinks spinners are the milder relations of snarling fast bowlers should think again. Twice Harbhajan has been done for making it clear - with gestures and words - where dismissed batsmen should go, and twice for letting umpires know what he thinks of them when decisions have gone against him.
7= Nayan Mongia (4) An early repeat offender, he was done three times for overzealous appealing - usually involving him charging down the pitch towards the umpire brandishing the ball and with accompanying yelling. He sorted that out after being hit with a one-ODI ban.
7= Kumar Sangakkara (4) He got off the mark in style, being reported in back-to-back Tests in the fractious series against England in Sri Lanka in 2000-01, and landed in hot water twice in 2004, the second time for propelling his kit towards the boundary after being dismissed. However, match referees should tread warily as Sangakkara is nearing the end of his law degree and might well be able to tie them in knots.
7= Virender Sehwag (4) Dissent and attempting to intimidate the umpire feature high on Sehwag's charge sheet, but two of his offences took place in the same match, the 2nd Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in November 2001. Six Indians were reported to Mike Denness, and Sehwag was banned for the next Test. As it was, the match never happened as a huge row resulted from Denness's decision to give Sachin Tendulkar a suspended ban for ball-tampering.
7= Scott Styris (4) Nothing complex about Styris. Run-of-the-mill swearing at umpires and a little bit of kit abuse into the bargain.
7= Shane Warne (4) W arne has only been fined once for an on-field rant, when he let rip at the departing Daryll Cullinan in 1993-94, and after a logo offence, he landed in trouble for an article in The Times in which he wrote the game would be better off without Arjuna Ranatunga, adding " I don't like him, and I'm not in a club of one". In the last decade his only on-field trouble came against West Indies in 2005-06 and he was cleared. His one-year ban for taking a diuretic was not a Code of Conduct offence ... unlike those over-sized logos.
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