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October 24, 2007
Titans captain Martin van Jaarsveld could face a ban for a number of matches after allegedly head-butting Dolphins fast bowler Quinton Friend on the final day of their SuperSport Series match at Kingsmead in Durban. Elise Lombard, the Titans' chief executive, confirmed that Cricket South Africa had summoned van Jaarsveld to a disciplinary hearing, though the date hadn't been finalised.
Titans coach Richard Pybus, who recounted the incident to the website Independent Online, was convinced that it was wrongly interpreted as a head-butt.
"On the day, Friend was bowling aggressively and had, in fact, been bowling well throughout the game. After one particular delivery, Friend walked right up to Martin and surprisingly used an expletive directed at his opponent with his face right up against the grill of his helmet.
"The visor of van Jaarsveld's helmet then touched Friend's face. It was not a head-butt."
Though van Jaarsveld had immediately apologised to the bowler after the umpires Brian Jerling and Shaun George intervened, they eventually reported him to the match referee Abdullatief Barnes.
Pybus said that the team had assured van Jaarsveld support through the hearing, with video evidence available to the disciplinary committee.
"As far as we're concerned, the initial reports about the incident don't tell the correct story of what happened," Pybus said. "Players and officials will tell you that van Jaarsveld is one of the gentlemen of the game. He has been playing cricket for more than 15 years and has never been involved in disciplinary issues."
The Dolphins won the match by seven wickets.
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