Australia v Pakistan, 3rd Q-F, Adelaide March 21, 2015

Wahab and Watson sanctioned by ICC


Wahab Riaz was fined 50% and Shane Watson 15% of their match fees © Getty Images

Wahab Riaz and Shane Watson have both been sanctioned by the ICC for their part in a fiery and memorable confrontation in the quarter-final between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

Wahab was fined 50% of his match fee for his demonstrative behaviour towards Watson, including an extended follow through that often took him eyeball to eyeball with the Australia allrounder, clapping provocatively in his face and acting in a generally aggressive manner.

Watson was reprimanded 15% for goading Wahab in the first instance, and then retaliating with verbals during the latter stages of his innings, which grew from the shakiest of beginnings to help guide Australia into the semi-finals and a meeting with India in Sydney.

Both players accepted their sanctions without the need for a full hearing, though neither man is likely to regret a passage of play that will be talked about for years to come.

The two men shared a hand shake and warm words at the end of the match, and Wahab told ESPNcricinfo that he harboured no ill feeling towards Watson nor Mitchell Starc, who spoke the first words in a series of exchanges that began when Wahab was batting.

Australia were understood to be somewhat disgruntled at the charge against Watson but thought it less of a distraction if it was accepted. The umpires are believed to have indicated they did not hear exactly what Watson said to Wahab, only that it was inflammatory.

Wahab has stated Watson said "you don't have a bat in your hand", prompting him to respond in kind when bowling.

"It was a game, it was fun, it was an exchange of words," Wahab said on Saturday. "In the end hats off to him, he played well.

"You have seen me shaking hands and congratulating Shane Watson as well, so it was just a part of the game and when the game is finished you are friends outside.

"We have to accept we lost and they won, so we have to congratulate them. At the end I said to him well played, that's it."

The ICC chief executive David Richardson and head of operations Geoff Allardice had both flagged a toughening of behavioural obligations for players ahead of the Cup, which has seen few such instances of open hostility.

However there is some frustration among competing teams about how the interpretation of the rules appears to change at higher profile ICC events as opposed to the usual rounds of bilateral series.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kashif Raza کاشف رضا on March 26, 2015, 21:55 GMT

    Its interesting that starc was not sanctioned

  • Percy on March 23, 2015, 23:22 GMT

    ICC seems hell bent on removing the fun from the game. Next thing you know it will be mandatory for batsmen to walk up to the bowler after every boundary and say "Thank You, good Sir for providing me with such a delightful scoring opportunity." C'mon guys, it's a sport, not a tea party for the royal family....let players play!

  • Leon on March 23, 2015, 21:51 GMT

    I was stunned when I heard they had been fined. Wahab's spell was riveting and Watson worked really hard. For Pak to win Wahab had to do something special - and he did. He was fired up and aggressive - almost like a throwback to the days of Lillee or Marshall working a batsman over. No fine was necessary and it soured the game. I really felt for him when that catch went down - he had done all the hard work and had his man. As an aussie I was relieved but enjoyed this game (as I enjoyed the Aus v NZ one) as it was a contest and not just one more massive run orgy where edges are rewarded with boundaries. I hope that the final is a contest of bat v ball whoever plays and not a boring runfest.

  • Clifford on March 23, 2015, 16:38 GMT

    As the long as the verbals are fit to play over the stump mike to a family audience I don't know if I care if there's some chirping although I'd rather the ICC be more rather than less conservative. A few of Wahab's bouncers almost had Watto talking out the other side of his face tho :-D

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2015, 16:24 GMT

    Fitting reply by brave cricketer Wahab....Watson's catch should have been taken to fulfill it. Australian cricket team deserves these type of aggressions...Hope they will learn soon cricket is meant for Gentleman

  • John on March 23, 2015, 10:07 GMT

    I didn't think much of Wahab's bowling until now, but that spell was a superb display of fast bowling and I rate it as one of the best if not the BEST ODI bowling performances I have ever seen. Had Rahat taken that catch Pak could have very well gone on to win. It was nice to see someone pay the aussies back in their own coin. Wahab did not blame the fielding and also shook hands with Watson and complimented him after the match which was very sportsmanlike. Unnecessary fine but great bowling. Well done Wahab. - an INDIA FAN

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2015, 7:02 GMT

    wahab do good.poor quality standard of world cup quarter final wicket pitch,2015 also controversial like 2011 so please next time newtral place for world cup otherwise worldcup wid 2 or 3 cup or a joke.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2015, 19:37 GMT

    Thats a really good spirit by Wahab. I knew he was a good bowler but neither liked nor disliked him personally for some reasons. But now, I like him a lot. Hopefully he will be the new captain of Pakistan cricket team. A fan of India :)

  • Peter on March 22, 2015, 18:49 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK. Seriously? You think that sort of thing should be questioned? That sort of thing is said in under 12's games!

  • Reza on March 22, 2015, 17:40 GMT

    KINGKEV an interesting take on matters. I think we all agree that the best equipped sides have made it through to the semis. Bearing in mind all 4 QF's weren't close do you wish that only 4 teams participate in the next WC. Interestingly enough several ex Test players were quite impressed with Wahab's spell however you are of course entitled to your view.

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