Australia in South Africa 2013-14 March 1, 2014

50% for wrong laces but 15% for outburst, asks Boucher

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Mark Boucher, South Africa's former wicketkeeper, has called on the ICC to think about "what's important to the game and what isn't" when they sanction players for breaching the code of conduct. Boucher was referencing the discrepancies in the sanctions handed out to Faf du Plessis and David Warner during the ongoing series.

In SuperSport's television build-up to the third Test match in Cape Town, Boucher said the ICC should "get its ducks in a row," when it comes to applying discipline.

David Warner was fined 15% of his match fee for making what match referee Roshan Mahanama called "disrespectful," comments which "publicly denigrated an opponent," when he suggested to an Australian radio station that South Africa had achieved reverse swing in Port Elizabeth through dubious means.

Contrastingly, Faf du Plessis had to hand over 50% of his match fee for a second clothing violation within the last 12 months. Du Plessis took to the field in Port Elizabeth with green shoelaces instead of the white ones which are stipulated as the acceptable gear for Test matches. In November 2013, du Plessis wore shoes with a red tongue instead of a white one.

Both those are in contravention with clause 2.1.1 of the ICC's code of conduct for players and player support personnel. Because they occurred within a 12-month period, the minimum fine of half the player's match fee, was imposed. Boucher said he thought du Plessis' offence was not in the same vein as Warner's and he could not understand why the South African was so harshly punished.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mindmeld on March 6, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    But no fine at all for Faf and Petersen when they alleged Aus was tampering with the ball a few days later. Strange double standards.

  • C.Gull on March 5, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    Faf didn't know the handled ball rule either. Someone needs to go back to school.

  • Samdanh on March 3, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    This article appears to be an attempt to distract the attention from what is going on in the third and final Test now. Let us go back to following the third and final Test. Saw Steyn in the field today. He could be good enough to bowl tomorrow.

  • on March 3, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    agree with M ark ICC shud be generous and not follow such pety matters umpires match refree shud verbally guide the players instead

  • jmcilhinney on March 2, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    I agree that du Plessis' fine seems severe for what appears to be a minor infringement but it's not like the rules are a secret. Particularly given that he'd already run afoul of that rule, you'd think that du Plessis would be particularly careful about what he wore. Basically, both players will have been fined in accordance with the rules that they broke. Those rules have been in effect for years so why complain about them now?

    Regardless, it's a good job for the rest of us that we have Australia around to tell us who's cheating and who's not. Given how often we see some Australian fans commenting on other teams complaining, you'd think that the Australian team wouldn't have much to say but it seems that they are regularly the victim of other teams' foul play and are quite prepared to tell us so.

  • heathrf1974 on March 2, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    I agree with Boucher. The fine for Warner should have been harsher and the du Plessis should have been lighter.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on March 2, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    @bharath241222 You're right. It's way too much to expect a player of a professional sport to be able to wear the correct coloured shoelaces. At this rate there will be 50% match fee fines and suspensions being handed out left, right and centre for this barbaric rule and there is almost nothing the players can do about it!

    Except maybe wearing the correct coloured shoe laces....

    I can't recall this ever happening before so it seems Faf's the only one who can't figure it out. I feel sure that it says more about the man than it does the rules.

  • bharath241222 on March 2, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    beautiful point,,,totally agree,,the rules need serious changes!!

  • whofriggincares on March 2, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    Rules are rules and repeat offending will always be dealt with more harshly fact of life not just cricket. Anyway if he doesn't make some runs he won't have to worry about what he is wearing in test cricket because he won't be playing!

  • HatsforBats on March 2, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    He can't understand the fine? Boucher has never been considered the sharpest tool in the shed has he?

    What's worse? A ridiculous ICC stipulation governing the colour of players shoelaces, or a player breaching said code of conduct twice in a year?

  • Mindmeld on March 6, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    But no fine at all for Faf and Petersen when they alleged Aus was tampering with the ball a few days later. Strange double standards.

  • C.Gull on March 5, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    Faf didn't know the handled ball rule either. Someone needs to go back to school.

  • Samdanh on March 3, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    This article appears to be an attempt to distract the attention from what is going on in the third and final Test now. Let us go back to following the third and final Test. Saw Steyn in the field today. He could be good enough to bowl tomorrow.

  • on March 3, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    agree with M ark ICC shud be generous and not follow such pety matters umpires match refree shud verbally guide the players instead

  • jmcilhinney on March 2, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    I agree that du Plessis' fine seems severe for what appears to be a minor infringement but it's not like the rules are a secret. Particularly given that he'd already run afoul of that rule, you'd think that du Plessis would be particularly careful about what he wore. Basically, both players will have been fined in accordance with the rules that they broke. Those rules have been in effect for years so why complain about them now?

    Regardless, it's a good job for the rest of us that we have Australia around to tell us who's cheating and who's not. Given how often we see some Australian fans commenting on other teams complaining, you'd think that the Australian team wouldn't have much to say but it seems that they are regularly the victim of other teams' foul play and are quite prepared to tell us so.

  • heathrf1974 on March 2, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    I agree with Boucher. The fine for Warner should have been harsher and the du Plessis should have been lighter.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on March 2, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    @bharath241222 You're right. It's way too much to expect a player of a professional sport to be able to wear the correct coloured shoelaces. At this rate there will be 50% match fee fines and suspensions being handed out left, right and centre for this barbaric rule and there is almost nothing the players can do about it!

    Except maybe wearing the correct coloured shoe laces....

    I can't recall this ever happening before so it seems Faf's the only one who can't figure it out. I feel sure that it says more about the man than it does the rules.

  • bharath241222 on March 2, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    beautiful point,,,totally agree,,the rules need serious changes!!

  • whofriggincares on March 2, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    Rules are rules and repeat offending will always be dealt with more harshly fact of life not just cricket. Anyway if he doesn't make some runs he won't have to worry about what he is wearing in test cricket because he won't be playing!

  • HatsforBats on March 2, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    He can't understand the fine? Boucher has never been considered the sharpest tool in the shed has he?

    What's worse? A ridiculous ICC stipulation governing the colour of players shoelaces, or a player breaching said code of conduct twice in a year?

  • on March 2, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    give me a break. Whether a player wears blue laces, green lace, black trousers or what ever - why does that concern ICC. Let them wear what ever they want. Regarding warner, from the part that I read: he wanted to know how they handled the ball to obtain that reverse swing. So to call it an accusation on ball tampering is a bit far fetched isn't it. It was really him mentioning a part on tampering (not directly accusing though) and press decided to make that the headline. And please U see players not walk when they are out, appeal ridiculously for lbw when ball clearly pitches out side leg. Now don't tell me this isn't as bad as wearing 'nonwhite shoe laces'.

  • regofpicton on March 2, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    Sorry - I forgot the green and yellow Australian cricket logos on his pants pockets . . .

  • regofpicton on March 2, 2014, 0:11 GMT

    Perhaps Faf's mistake was to wear green shoelaces in an otherwise all white kit. If he had been dressed like David Warner they would have been very hard to spot. He's got yellow and orange ear-guards, red, yellow, green, black and orange patches across his chest, more yellow and black on his shoulders, bright yellow string holding up his pants, hi-viz red patches on his gloves, red stripes and black chequer-board patterns on his wrist guards and pad straps, red and black patches on his pads, and red yellow blue and black patches on his bat. But his shoes? Fully compliant black and white. How VERY traditional of him . . .

  • disco_bob on March 1, 2014, 22:38 GMT

    Boucher is being disingenuous, he actually answered his own question the 50% fine was for a 2nd offence, what was the fine for the first offence?

  • on March 1, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    I understand that rules must be obeyed. But there seems to be so many contradictions when it comes to clothing. Yesterday Clark was wearing a cream colored arm band, and in the previous test Faf was wearing green shoe laces. Yet the colored arm band is acceptable but the green laces are not allowed. This rule should be adjusted, look at the modern day shoes worn by the South Africans they have a lot of blue on them, so the laces shouldn't be a big deal, time to adjust the rule and flow with the modern times.

  • Greatest_Game on March 1, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    If the laces had a sponsor's logo on them, they would have been allowed. All the player's shoes have some kind of colour on them somewhere. Gloves have colored bits and pieces. Shirts of course have logos and stuff all over them.

    The players are given the clothing by management, and most have boots, bats, gloves etc from sponsors. They tape handles, and arms, & fingers with all colours of tape.

    Even the umpires wear advertising!

    I'd lay money he did not go out and BUY green shoelaces because he thought he would look cool. They are not exactly a major fashion statement.

    The whole thing is dumb. Him, the fine, the umpires. This is pro cricket, not high school. The umps missed nicks behind, but noticed shoelaces???

    Like the man says - Modern Umpires, please. With hearing & common sense. Just tell the guy to change his laces - really.

  • johnathonjosephs on March 1, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    What kind of rule is 50% of a match fee for wearing green laces? You have to be kidding me..... I know tradition is big, but that's just ridiculous.

  • sgma on March 1, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    there is a dress code and it should be followed. and as noted above by ModernUnpiresPlz, Faf was aware of this. Thus, no cause for complaints.

  • on March 1, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    It says second clothing violation, you would have to be pretty dumb to violate it twice. How hard is it to wear the correct clothing, the article should focus more on questioning his intelligence as a person.

  • on March 1, 2014, 17:43 GMT

    well talking about similarities then what about ban on a bowler working on seam and 1 player getting away with rubbing on zipper?

    surely icc needs to do something to make it look simple.

  • Hardy1 on March 1, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Warner was asked a question & gave his honest reply, but clearly freedom of speech is something that's not appreciated much in modern professional sport. As for Du Plessis, it's his own fault if he's wearing fancy shoelaces when the rules are very clear on that kind of thing. No other player does it so why has he gone & done it? Whether that rule actually adds anything to the game is another matter

  • on March 1, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    The coloured gear rule is contradictory when coloured helmets and brightly coloured logos are allowed (picture above)! Absolutely nuts!

  • on March 1, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    i think its rule & regulations not SA & AUS matter

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on March 1, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    @Salar Ahmed It sounds ridiculous but I'm certain he was fully aware after his first infringement that if he did it again he would be fined 50% of his match fee. Either he has no memory whatsoever or he decided that it was worth half his match fee to wear green shoelaces, but there are no other possible options.

    It really isn't that hard to get white shoelaces to be completely honest about it. I'm pretty sure there would be a few extra sets in the dressing room given that every bowler in the team is probably carrying around at least 6 pairs of shoes.

    If we compare the infringements based solely on the way they are being reported in the media it would be completely unfair. If you actually listen what what Warner said on the radio in its complete form you'll see that it barely warranted a fine at all. Pretty much the same as slightly violating a long standing rule in test cricket, except he went and did it twice in a year. Silly Faf.

  • on March 1, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Can't argue with Boucher here. The ICC really ought to have better things to worry about than what colour shoes a player is wearing.

  • Mel-waas on March 1, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    Warner is right, Whenever South Africa is in a corner they tamper with the ball. Like they did in the UAE 2nd test and got caught.

  • on March 1, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    Charging Warner makes sense a little but charging 50% of Du Plessis' fee is just plain ridiculous.

  • BradmanBestEver on March 1, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    The difference? FAF broke the rules and Warner told the truth

  • ScottStevo on March 1, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @Nicholas Mayo, what about them? He said exactly what everyone else was saying relating to Trott's dismissal. Vaughan said it was the worst innings from an Eng #3 he'd ever seen. Warner said the way he got out was poor and weak. Which is worse?

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on March 1, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    ICC rankings and penalties both makes no sense.

  • on March 1, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    @cryptq1 This is not Warner's first offense! what about is comments on Trott less that 4 months ago

  • on March 1, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    @cryptq1 - 1st offence vs. 2nd non-offence.

  • cryptq1 on March 1, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    1st offence vs 2nd offence. Comparing apples to oranges.

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  • cryptq1 on March 1, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    1st offence vs 2nd offence. Comparing apples to oranges.

  • on March 1, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    @cryptq1 - 1st offence vs. 2nd non-offence.

  • on March 1, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    @cryptq1 This is not Warner's first offense! what about is comments on Trott less that 4 months ago

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on March 1, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    ICC rankings and penalties both makes no sense.

  • ScottStevo on March 1, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @Nicholas Mayo, what about them? He said exactly what everyone else was saying relating to Trott's dismissal. Vaughan said it was the worst innings from an Eng #3 he'd ever seen. Warner said the way he got out was poor and weak. Which is worse?

  • BradmanBestEver on March 1, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    The difference? FAF broke the rules and Warner told the truth

  • on March 1, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    Charging Warner makes sense a little but charging 50% of Du Plessis' fee is just plain ridiculous.

  • Mel-waas on March 1, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    Warner is right, Whenever South Africa is in a corner they tamper with the ball. Like they did in the UAE 2nd test and got caught.

  • on March 1, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Can't argue with Boucher here. The ICC really ought to have better things to worry about than what colour shoes a player is wearing.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on March 1, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    @Salar Ahmed It sounds ridiculous but I'm certain he was fully aware after his first infringement that if he did it again he would be fined 50% of his match fee. Either he has no memory whatsoever or he decided that it was worth half his match fee to wear green shoelaces, but there are no other possible options.

    It really isn't that hard to get white shoelaces to be completely honest about it. I'm pretty sure there would be a few extra sets in the dressing room given that every bowler in the team is probably carrying around at least 6 pairs of shoes.

    If we compare the infringements based solely on the way they are being reported in the media it would be completely unfair. If you actually listen what what Warner said on the radio in its complete form you'll see that it barely warranted a fine at all. Pretty much the same as slightly violating a long standing rule in test cricket, except he went and did it twice in a year. Silly Faf.