County news August 9, 2013

Suspended Batty to miss FLt20 Finals Day

ESPNcricinfo staff

Gareth Batty will miss Friends Life t20 Finals Day after being handed a two-match suspension for "appalling" behaviour following the on-pitch spat with Peter Trego during Surrey's quarter-final against Somerset at The Oval.

Batty, the Surrey captain, was found guilty of two level two breaches of the ECB's code of conduction relating to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" and "using language or a gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature".

It means Surrey will be without their captain and frontline one-day spinner for Finals Day on August 17 at Edgbaston, where they have been drawn to face the holders, Hampshire, in the semi-finals. Batty was already fulfilling the captaincy role on an interim basis following the injury that ruled Graeme Smith out for the season and Surrey will now have to scour the team for another leader. Steven Davies and Vikram Solanki are likely to be the leading candidates.

The incident in the quarter-final occurred when Trego was bowled by Batty and began walking back to the pavilion, which took him towards Surrey's celebrating players. Batty was then seen to shove Trego while also mouthing obscenities towards him.

Gerard Elias QC, the chairman of the cricket discipline commission (CDC), described Batty's behaviour as "appalling" and said he did consider whether further action should be taken along with the immediate suspension but decided not to refer the matter to a disciplinary panel.

Elias said: "This was a high profile televised match with much at stake for both sides. In these circumstances, the Cricket Discipline Commission expects players to have regard to the image of the game and their place as role models, and to control their emotions accordingly.

"Gareth Batty was not merely a player but was the Surrey captain. His conduct as such was appalling. Not only was he involved in deliberately and inappropriately physically confronting a batsman he had just dismissed, he subsequently engaged in a foul-mouthed tirade at the batsman.

"Plainly, he acted contrary to the spirit of the game and in a way which brings cricket into disrepute and failed to set the leadership example expected."

The ECB statement continued: "The CDC takes this opportunity to remind players and captains of their duties and responsibilities as ambassadors for the game. So called 'high pressure' matches will not be regarded as any excuse for playing the game other than in accordance with the discipline regulations and in the proper spirit."

The penalty for a first level two offence is three points and the penalty for a second level two offence within 24 months is six points. Batty has therefore received a total of nine penalty points, triggering an automatic suspension for a period of two matches. This penalty will remain on his record for a period of two years.