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Coleman pleads guilty to ball tampering

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 18, 2013

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Freddie Coleman made 63 from 70 balls, Lancashire v Scotland, Clydesdale Bank 40, Group B, Old Trafford, June, 18, 2013
Freddie Coleman in action during the Yorkshire Bank 40 this season © Getty Images
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by enjoythegame on (August 20, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

Pyketts, it may be a bit harsh but a stand has to be made somewhere and once you let these things take hold. LI am just sensing these days it seems all boundaries are getting pushed further at all levels.where will it stop. I noted that last evenings televised game Mr C was selected to play, some punishment.

Posted by Pyketts on (August 19, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

@enjoythegame I agree that the punishments should have beeen harsher but to call for him never to be allowed to play again is a bit silly.

Banning him for c10-15 games would have been more acceptable.

Posted by enjoythegame on (August 19, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Totally agree. Unfortunately whether it be Mr Coleman, Best or a n other from any county . I for one will not be interested in following their careers whatever heights they reach. Spirit of the game is paramount to upholding the sport.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

these punishments are a disgrace. Where is the deterrent here?

This being a Second XI game, you can only assume that there were young Glamorgan batsmen fighting for their opportunity to make a mark on their coaches, and thus, develop their cricketing career.

This tampering could have unjustly dismissed some of these players and ruined their opportunities in the short term. Totally unfair, outrageous behaviour.

Posted by enjoythegame on (August 19, 2013, 11:51 GMT)

To allow someone so young starting in the game AND for it to be apparently accepted by such a club as warwickshire in this case(or ANY) cricket club is deplorable. It should be a simple fact that in these days any player at any level should not be allowed near a cricket ground again. Professional or not. The game v Glamorgan through his actions could have had an affect on an opposing player who is genuinely tying his hardest to forge and establish his career. A fine is not the the deterrent for such actions. Sorry Mr Coleman.

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (August 18, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

If Gareth Batty had done that he would have been banned for the rest of the season. Cheating is a greater crime than swearing. ECB need to sort out the disciplinary process. Both players, Coleman and Best should have been banned for at least two matches.

Posted by njr1330 on (August 18, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

Maybe I'm old-fashioned; but, when I was a Captain in league cricket, if any of my players had tampered with the ball, they would never have played for the club again. Likewise, any condoning captain, would have been instantly dismissed.

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