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August 31, 2009
Sri Lankan opener Tharanga Paranavitana has been fined 50% of his match fees for violating ICC's Code of Conduct during the second Test against New Zealand in Colombo.
Paranavitana was found guilty of breaching Level 2 of the code that states players must at all times "conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws of Cricket", when he claimed and celebrated a catch to dismiss Iain O'Brien in the 105th over of New Zealand's second innings. Though replays suggested the ball had bounced before Paranavitana caught it, he continued to appeal vigorously even as the umpires conferred.
However, match referee Andy Pycroft reduced the charge to a Level 1 offence - which cannot be appealed against - after taking into account Paranavitana's previous clean track record and his apology at the hearing. "Although replays showed that the ball hit the ground before it reached Tharanga, I am satisfied that he did not know this at the time and was not attempting to deceive the umpires in that regard," Pycroft said. "But the fact of the matter is you can't celebrate by throwing the ball in the air and cross the pitch while continuing to appeal as the umpires are conferring with each other.
"It is not the sort of example that players should be setting at any time, especially given the message his action sends out to the millions of people watching at the ground and on television. Therefore his behaviour merited some form of action."
The Sri Lanka team manager Brendon Kuruppu, on-field umpires Daryl Harper and Nigel Llong, and third umpire Kumar Dharmasena also attended the hearing.
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