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February 19, 2012
MS Dhoni has been suspended for one ODI and India fined for the team's second over-rate breach in ODIs in less than a year. India were found to be two overs short during their 110-run defeat against Australia in Brisbane, after time allowances were taken into consideration. Match referee Andy Pycroft also fined Dhoni 40% of his match fee and the team's other players were fined 20% each.
This was India's second over-rate breach this tour. Dhoni was suspended from the Adelaide Test earlier this year for a slow over-rate in the previous game in Perth, where India had gone in with four fast bowlers. Today, at the Gabba, the visitors played four seamers again. Ravindra Jadeja's left-arm spin was not employed in the game, prompted, as Dhoni said, by the presence of several left-handers in the Australian side, though it could have improved the over-rate if used.
The latest suspension is a consequence of two "minor" over-rate offences in ODIs within a year- the first one being during the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai. The grounds for the decision to take such an action against any guilty captain were laid at the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong last year where harsher penalties were called for against teams failing to meet their over-rate targets.
"At its meeting in June 2011 in Hong Kong, the ICC Executive Board had discussed the issue of slow over-rates and accepted the recommendation of the ICC Cricket Committee that a captain of an international side should be suspended for one match if his side is guilty of two minor over-rate offences in the same format over a 12-month period," the ICC said.
A 'Minor Over-Rate Offence' is when a side is found to be upto two overs short in an ODI or a T20I and upto five overs short in a Test.
The on-field umpires Steve Davies and Billy Bowden, third umpire Bruce Oxenford and fourth umpire Paul Reiffel laid the charge, to which Dhoni plead guilty and accepted the suspension. "Dhoni also acknowledged that he had been kept informed of the position regarding over-rates on a regular basis throughout the match and therefore accepted the decision," the ICC release stated.
Dhoni was suspended for slow over-rates more than years ago as well. He had to sit out of two ODIs during a home series against Sri Lanka, as a result of which Virender Sehwag had to take over. India will now take on Sri Lanka on February 21 without Dhoni, their most consistent batsman this series with scores of 44*, 58* and 56 in his last three appearances.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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