Verbal slur sees bowler suspended December 2, 2005

Steyn cleared of racial abuse

Cricinfo staff
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Dale Steyn's ourburst has seen him banned for two matches © Getty Images
Dale Steyn, the South Africa and Nashua Titans fast bowler, has been found not guilty in a religious slandering case against Ahmed Amla, the Dolphins batsman.

Earlier, reports had suggested that Steyn had made comments against Amla's religion during the Titans' SuperSport Series match against the Dolphins in Durban on Friday, November 11. Fridays are the holiest day of the week for Muslims, and Steyn apparently used the word 'prayer' in a verbal outburst against Amla during the match.

However, it has been confirmed by Niels Momberg, manager of operations for Cricket South Africa, that Steyn pleaded guilty to verbally abusing Amla before a disciplinary commission inquiry on November 28. Michael Kuper, the disciplinary commissioner, ruled Steyn guilty of verbal abuse but not of slighting Amla's decision.

Misinterpretations occurred when the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) released a media release stating that Steyn had been found guilty of disregarding clause 1.3 of the Code of Conduct. A section of the clause refers to contestants being barred from disparaging the religion of any player, or making any statements on the basis of religion. The UCBSA's release failed to define which portion of the clause Steyn had been found guilty under. Steyn has been banned for two SuperSport series matches in February and March of 2006.

Amla, who raised his bat in reaction to Steyn's comments, also appeared before a disciplinary committee in Johannesburg on December 1. He received a suspended sentence for reaction in an offensive manner. Imraan Khan, another Dolphins batman, received a one-match ban for hitting his bat against an advertising hoarding after being dismissed and will miss the SuperSport match between Dolphins and Cape Cobras on February 23.

Steyn, 22, has played three Tests for South Africa and two one-day internationals for an Africa XI.