County news August 18, 2013

Coleman pleads guilty to ball tampering

ESPNcricinfo staff

Freddie Coleman, the Warwickshire and Scotland batsman, has pleaded guilty to ball tampering during a 2nd XI Championship match against Glamorgan earlier this month but has escaped an immediate suspension.

Warwickshire have been fined £5000 and the disciplinary panel said "the club did not provide sufficient discouragement regarding ball tampering." They were also critical of the captain for the game in question, Paul Best, who they said allowed the tampering to continue with his knowledge.

Coleman's guilty plea and his age, 21, were noted by the panel although they stressed that this was not setting a precedent for any future ball-tampering cases. He was handed a two-match suspension but that was suspended for two years and will come into force if he breaks any further ECB regulations in that period.

The panel's statement said: "Frederick Coleman pleaded guilty to a charge that during a Second XI Championship match between Warwickshire CCC and Glamorgan CCC at Cardiff CC on 7th - 9th August, he knowingly and deliberately changed the condition of the ball in contravention of Law 42.3(b).

"Warwickshire pleaded guilty to a charge that a player registered to and playing for them knowingly and deliberately changed the condition of the ball in contravention of Law 42.3(b).

"The panel took into account that Mr Coleman pleaded guilty, that he is a young player and that he was allowed to act in this way with the knowledge of his captain. In light of these circumstances, the panel imposed a two match suspension on him. However, this penalty is suspended for a period of 24 months.

"The panel wished to make it clear that the personal circumstances of Mr Coleman were taken into account and that the sanction is not to be seen as setting a precedent in any future cases of this kind.

"The panel has imposed a fine of £5000 on Warwickshire CCC and the deduction of the points gained in this match. In the panel's view, the club did not provide sufficient discouragement regarding ball tampering, all types of which are clearly inappropriate and in contravention of the Laws of the game."

Coleman has yet to make a first-class appearance for Warwickshire but has played in their Twenty20 side. He has played two ODIs and a Twenty20 for Scotland alongside two matches in the Intercontinental Cup and has been part of the YB40 campaign. His highest first-class score of 110 came for Oxford MCCU against Worcestershire in 2012.

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