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October 30, 2008
Shane Watson, the Australian allrounder, has been fined 10% of his match fee after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during an incident involving Indian opener Gautam Gambhir on the first day of the second Test in Delhi. Gambhir's hearing has been adjourned until Friday morning so that match referee Chris Broad can review the evidence.
Gambhir had a series of verbal clashes with Watson during the post-lunch session and then ran into him when trying for a second run in the 51st over of the Indian innings. Gambhir later said elbowing Watson in the chest " wasn't deliberate " but he was charged with a Level 2 offence for not conducting play "within the spirit of the game as well as within the laws of cricket". Watson was slapped with a Level 1 charge under the same offence.
Watson pleaded not guilty to the offence during his hearing but Broad found him "guilty of verbally engaging with Gambhir in a manner that was not in keeping with the spirit of cricket". There is no right of appeal for Level 1 offences and the match referee's decision is final.
Gambhir, however, pleaded guilty to the charge and he could face a ban of one Test. Level 2 penalties range from a fine of between 50 and 100% of match fees and/or a ban of one Test or two ODIs but the player has the right to appeal against the decision within 24 hours.
The umpires Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar laid the charges against Gambhir and Watson along with the TV official Suresh Shastri. However, they did not lay charges against Gambhir and Simon Katich after the two were involved in a heated argument after tea on the first day. Katich appeared to have halted Gambhir from taking a run - and the pair was separated by Bowden.
Gambhir was fined 65% of his match fee for an incident in 2007 when he barged in to Pakistan bowler Shahid Afridi while batting in a one-day match in Kanpur. He was found guilty of a Level 2 charge of inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players and was also ruled to have breached a Level 1 condition of not conducting play with the spirit of the game.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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