New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Christchurch, 5th day February 24, 2016

Smith charged for dissent shown towards umpires


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Australia's captain Steven Smith has been charged with dissent and fined 30% of his match fee over the same incident that saw fast bowler Josh Hazlewood fined 15% of his match fee on day four in Christchurch. The ICC confirmed Hazlewood's charge and penalty on Tuesday but it was not until Wednesday that the Australians were notified that Smith would also be penalised for breaching the code of conduct.*

Smith said he would cop the decision "on the chin". The incident occurred in the last over before lunch on the fourth day, when Hazlewood had an lbw appeal against Kane Williamson turned down by the on-field umpire Ranmore Martinesz, and Australia's review was struck down by third umpire Richard Illingworth.

Illingworth had noted a small Hot Spot near the bottom of Williamson's inside edge, which he deemed enough to stick with Martinesz's not-out decision, but the Australians were angered at the outcome having seen the review play out on Hagley Oval's big screen. Smith and Hazlewood approached Martinesz and appeared to demand an explanation as to why the decision had been upheld.

"Josh Hazlewood got brought under the code of conduct yesterday for what he did and I've also just been made aware that I've been put under the code of conduct for dissent as well," Smith said after Australia completed their victory on day five. "I thought I was well within my rights to go up to the umpire and ask him why we didn't use the Real Time Snicko.

"I guess out on the field we couldn't really see a Hot Spot and I've been informed since then, at the break just after the incident, that if there is a Hot Spot they don't go to Real Time Snicko. So that was basically what I was doing at the time and that's deemed to be dissent and I'll cop that on the chin and I need to be better as a leader. I need to set the example, and that wasn't good enough."

The incident brought into the spotlight the Spirit of Cricket in the final Test of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who has spoken often of wanting his team to play the game "in the right way". During last year's ODI series in England McCullum wrote in a newspaper column that Smith might regret not withdrawing an obstructing the field appeal against England's Ben Stokes, and Smith conceded he could learn from the way McCullum has led.

"Brendon has been a great ambassador, and a great captain and leader for the game," Smith said. "I can learn a bit off the way he has done things. We've talked quite a bit and he gave me a bit of criticism in England with the Ben Stokes dismissal. We've talked a little bit about that. I guess I'm still young in my career as a leader and you try and learn from different things.

"Yesterday was a mistake on my behalf and I've been hit with a code of conduct [charge] because of it. To me it's about trying to learn from my mistakes and trying to get this team moving forward in the right direction and playing the good, aggressive brand of cricket that we play so well. We know that there's a line there that we can't cross."

*10.00GMT, February 24: This article was updated after details of Steven Smith's fine came in

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Puffin on February 26, 2016, 0:15 GMT

    Some punishment for these sorts of actions being addressed against umpires needs to be applied more quickly than fines and bans post the match in which they happen. Yellow/red cards, maybe? Sin bin? Or maybe some extras added or runs deducted?

    I can see an umpire getting punched on the nose. Not good.

  • TheBigBoodha on February 25, 2016, 11:34 GMT

    MATTHEW BROOKES, yes, those are embarrassing statistics. I have continually made this point, yet we have people on here who wait and wait and wait till there is an issue involving Australia, and then they descend like vultures to prey.

    We have sambobs on here blaming Australia for their opponents' sanctions. Yes, the ancient cry heard in a million children's sandpits, "Look what you went and made me do!" You have to shake your head at the complete inability to face the facts.

    Why should Smith be fined for asking the umpire the reasons for the decision? He looked cranky when he asked? Is that why? And why did it come through two days later? Who is pulling the strings here? Did Stokes and the English team get fined for not only questioning Stokes' silly grabbing of the ball when he was being run out, but they went on about it in the media for days afterwards. And they blamed AUS! Why is what Smith did worse than that? And BMcC clearly questioned the umpire in the Marsh controversy!

  • sarangsrk on February 25, 2016, 7:45 GMT

    So, Smith questioned umpire's logic of using Hot Spot over Snicko? Isn't hot spot supposed to provide more correct view of what happened than Snicko? Given that Aussies are such vehement supporters of DRS, you would expect the Aus Test Captain to know better than that. Also, Wasn't this the same Smith who called Kohli as "emotional" after the chatterbox incident? What is his justification of his own behaviour in this match and the last ODI Marsh incident where he made childish remarks in the post match presentation? Mr Smith, very convenient to make remarks on others. You get judged by what you do yourselves especially in the "heat" of the moment. As far as I have seen, Smith gets frustrated very easily and certainly not carrying the legacy of SWaugh or Clarke. Cricinfo, plz publish.

  •   Teodorick V Antonio on February 25, 2016, 3:04 GMT

    I have seen a couple of cricketers showing aggression towards other players and umpires in in-field game, I believe that control individual's attitute towards the game is difficult to manage, so drawing a line to make sure players get fines and know where they made a mistake.

  •   Andy Smith on February 25, 2016, 2:12 GMT

    How much is the match fee for an AUS cricketer? Is a 15% fine enough, especially when you consider a cricketers central contract figure. It seems to me that this fine for Hazelwood is so small and no deterrent at all. His behaviour was completely unacceptable. A 1000% fine would have been appropriate. Smith was not fined for asking the question about RTS, it was the aggressive way he went about it. As a leader he should already know that a better standard of behaviour is expected of him. A 100% fine would have been more appropriate. The fines imposed by the ICC must be made to hurt. On another note has Smith been sanctioned for the over rate on Day 1?

  •   Matthew Brookes on February 24, 2016, 23:25 GMT

    I went through the ICC website yesterday and looked at the countries most penalised over the past 2 years (beyond 2014 the data was a bit sketchy and hard to get into a spreadsheet). Australia are hardly the "bad boys" of cricket these days.

    Sri Lanka - 14 South Africa - 11 India - 10 Bangladesh - 9 West Indies - 8 Australia - 7 England - 7 Zimbabwe - 6 Pakistan - 6 New Zealand - 3

  • Sambobs on February 24, 2016, 21:11 GMT

    @ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4 - Apart from Anderson's incident with Jadeja, I cannot think of an incident that was worthy of the match review panel having to ever get involved with any of those players you list. The only times incidents occur with any other players is when they are playing Aus.....funny that! How many times have Aus captains been sent to the headmaster's office? Ponting at Edgbaston, Clarke at Gabba, now Smith at Christchurch. These are your leaders expected to set an example. As I said, the first step is to admit you have a problem.

  • Xebadir on February 24, 2016, 20:39 GMT

    Got to say that this is a rough call on Smith. The fine should have been more for Hazlewood given his language and direct dissent. The inconsistency in the DRS process is weird as well - clearly the RTS should have been consulted as the hot spot was contraversial and inconclusive. Smith should have been well within rights to ask the umpire calmly (which he was), as the captain of his side, for why the decision did not involve the RTS given this is typical process, as umpires are supposed to judge the game of the laws of cricket and keeping things civil on the field, which an appropriate answer at the time could have resolved (not explaining that this is why that decision was made to a level headed person is kind of like a judge not citing legal precedent to make a contraversial decision). Hazlewood should have stayed out of it and left it to the captain - most fast bowlers are pretty hot headed in that situation.

  • indianzen on February 24, 2016, 19:54 GMT

    Its not a mistake, its a crime as Smith and Hazlewood did them willingly. I guess he understood incorrectly about showing aggression on the field ! Where really was this aggression when playing The Ashes ?

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on February 24, 2016, 14:19 GMT

    Now that the dust has settled can we see the snicko evidence from the Williamson review to check that the spot lined up with the movement of the ball? Go on. Please. Just for interest

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