West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados

Benn suspended for antics in third Test

Cricinfo staff

July 10, 2010

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Sulieman Benn's off stump takes a walk, West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados, 4th day, June 29, 2010
Suliemann Benn faces a ban of one Test or two ODIs © Associated Press

Sulieman Benn, the West Indies left-arm spinner, has been suspended for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the third Test against South Africa in Barbados last month. South Africa had asked the ICC to take disciplinary action against him last week following his altercation with fast bowler Dale Steyn on the third day of the Test.

Benn pleaded guilty to a Level 2 breach of the code and was penalised by match referee Jeff Crowe. His previous disciplinary troubles means he now faces a ban of one Test or two ODIs or two Twenty20s, whichever comes first.

The incident took place during lunch on the third day at the Kensington Oval when Benn barged into the South African dressing room and taunted some of the players and management. This followed the dismissal of Steyn a few overs before lunch when the fast bowler appeared to spit in the direction of Benn as he walked towards the pavilion. That cost Steyn his entire match fee, though the match referee agreed that Benn had provoked Steyn in the overs leading up to his dismissal.

"Whatever had gone on before Sulieman entered the Proteas' dressing room, while helping to explain his behaviour, cannot justify it," Crowe said. "Clearly, Sulieman has acted inappropriately here and in a way that is contrary to the spirit of cricket."

Benn has had behavioural issues over the past year, including a dust-up with Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin during the Perth Test in December, which earned him a two-ODI ban. He was fined his full match fee by the West Indies management last month after he was ordered off the field by captain Chris Gayle for failing to follow his instructions during the fourth ODI against South Africa.

His spat with Steyn was not the only ugly incident in an ill-tempered final Test in Barbados. Fast bowler Kemar Roach lost half his match fee after a run-in with Jacques Kallis during the closing stages of the match. He repeatedly walked up to and exchanged words with the batsman after testing him with a series of bouncers. The stand-off threatened to escalate and required the intervention of the umpires and West Indies fielders to come under control.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 0:55 GMT)

why would u spit at someone what message are u sending

Posted by ravsman on (July 12, 2010, 21:47 GMT)

this is just another classic example of who holds the power in world cricket - dayle steyn is south african - not too long ago south africa were outcasts in world cricket and everyone knows why - now lets examine steyn's behavior in light of that - then let's look at the fact that steyn unleashes a barrage of verbal garbage littered with profanity that is so clear as day to discern that you can make out exactly some of the wonderful words that he uses by just looking at his mouth moving on the television screen...and the icc is angered by roach having a few exchanges at the south african batsmen? - does the icc feel that the south african team is all macho when it comes to giving out the treatment but are oh so sensitive and ladylike when it comes to taking the treatment? - this is absolute rubbish....

Posted by lazytrini on (July 12, 2010, 12:48 GMT)

Benn's behaviour is a reflection if Gayle's captaincy and his inability to lead or instill discipline in the team.

Posted by nce8 on (July 12, 2010, 8:05 GMT)

Benn shold not take part anymore in cricket. Try boxing maybe

Posted by   on (July 11, 2010, 23:06 GMT)

It is a shame that there are those who cannot respond to issues presented without seeking to insult others. I feel sorry for such persons. My point was: yes there may be racial bias in cricket, but to be quick to judge every decision on the basis of race is not the way to analyze issues. Intelligent analysis demands that all the facts are carefully examined. Both Benn and Steyn were wrong. Do the facts show that they were both culpable to the same degree? If there is a problem with the inequity of the punishment, deal with that. If I am idiotic for expressing such a view then that's OK.

Posted by vanteal001 on (July 11, 2010, 14:45 GMT)

@Denzilbez: Your last sentence, goes withoout saying!!!!!!!!!! I take it you would be quite happy if someone spat at you. I doubt that very much.

I only wished that the WICB had the balls to back their players as they should, but we all knoow that will not hapen. They will simply lap their tails etween their legs and let it slide as they do with everything else, (the spineless bunch of MUPPETS that they are). Some of you do not believe that there is a race issue to this, I don't agree, what other explanation can ther be to justify the inconsistant way in which the ICC levels punishments at players from certain parts of the world as apose to others. I have read comments that Roach should have respected Kallis and bowled that way to him. Who the hell is Kallis? As the saying goes, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Roach should have nocked his block off.

Posted by Celtics24 on (July 11, 2010, 14:33 GMT)

Just lol @ all the people playing the race card, so typical. Face it, Benn is a muppet. He has very, very poor sportsmanship and is a very aggressive and immature individual who's always looking for a brawl. Spitting semi near the direction of someone after being provoked and entering the opposition changerooms and taunting/threatening members of the opposition team are completely different offences. Benn should've been banned for even more games for such an offense, let alone the fact he's a repeat offender. Good to see that Australia wasn't involved in this one as you'd all just blame the "big bad aussies" for provoking poor little Benn, like last time. Face it, he's a rogue and needs to grow up. Keep up the good work ICC.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2010, 11:03 GMT)

Though, I am not a great fan of Kallis or Styen when it comes to Sportmanship, I still believe this is a good decision. Please for god sake, dont talk of racial bias. Cricket is considered to be a getleman's game and ICC must take action against any action which is against the spirit of game.

Players like Benn should learn from the likes of Sachin Ttendulkar or Vittory.

Posted by boltfromheaven on (July 11, 2010, 10:24 GMT)

I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that Asians are generally (exceptions do exist) not very good at mocking or sledging in English. They are superb at it Hindi/Urdu/Tamil/Sinhala/Bengali but these are not the languages of international cricket. And culturally too its just not in the blood (and I suspect WI is the same here). The Windies can easily give back just as good as they get of course, but they generally will not. Umpires are immunized to comments from Aus, Eng, NZ and SA (which they would see as friendly banter or acceptable sledging) but when the others try it, it sounds hostile, probably because it is voiced with a bit of frustration and vehemence but little malice.As an Asian, I am not going to try and gain any brownie points and blame the windies because I believe, prima facie, that a wrong has been done against Benn. If someone spat at me, I could not have put my riposte better than Benn.

Posted by vanteal001 on (July 11, 2010, 9:08 GMT)

We all know that Ben has serious behavioral problems which I believe stems from the fact that he believes he is much better than he really is. HE REALLY NEEDS TO SORT OUTT HIS ATTITUDE. (He deserves his punishment). However, I have a massive problem with the double standards of the ICC, and those of you who do not see the double standards, take off your blinkers. Let me give you just three examples of bowlers who were constantly getting in batsmen's' faces. Glen McGrath had something to say to the batsman virtually after every ball he bowled, (remember his reaction when he made a comment to Sawan and got a response he didn't like). So too did Andre Nel and now Stewart Broad is going down that same route. These men are not shown up as the bullies they were/are, but held up as great examples of those who play the game tough. There has been many others long before those mentioned, Remember when Denis Lilly Kicked Javed Meandad? The ICC is bias in it's judgments and needs to get a grip.

Posted by DenzilBez on (July 11, 2010, 9:08 GMT)

Yes, because spitting chewing gum in the general vicinity of a player by someone with a spotless disciplinary record equates to physically threatening the limb/life by another player with a string of previous disciplinary issues.

But what do I know? As a white South African, I must be a racist, right?

Posted by bowled_middle_stump on (July 11, 2010, 5:09 GMT)

i've got to say this is all becoming way too predictable. blah blah blah ICC gets it wrong blah blah blah artlicle has nothing to do with australia but cheap shots are taken any way blah blah race card is played blah blah blah etc etc. now if there is anyone reading the comments sections they can stop here, i have summed it up for you and more than likely all future comment sections on cricinfo articles

Posted by   on (July 11, 2010, 3:48 GMT)

Please stop talking about racial bias. Though I am not a great fan of Kallis or Styen, when comes to the sportsmanship.

One should learn from the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble or Vittory. Cricket was considered to be a jentleman's game. ICC should take strict decision to maintain its dignity.

I support such strict decision irrespective of who is penalised.

Posted by Dreama on (July 11, 2010, 3:18 GMT)

It is embarrassing to be a West Indian and have that in common with idiots like Erle Wright. When you woke up this morning Erle, did you not notice you were a free man? No one owns you, how difficult would it be now to free your mind?

Posted by   on (July 11, 2010, 1:21 GMT)

Let's face reality, folks. There's still racism in SA despite the tremendous progress which that country has made in the last 15 years.And it's still rubbing off on some of their citizens. They come to the Caribbean and "skin duh teet.' When I was growing up in Barbados, by mom would often say, ' every skin teet in nuh laff.' The meaning is that because a person show his/her teeth while smiling doesn't always mean that he/she is being friendly.Why would a person choose to spit at or near another, if there wasn't contempt/hatred for the intended recipient? That Benn is no choir boy, everyone is aware. Therefore, the punishment meted out should've been across the board. That is, all guilty parties should've received the same punisment. Forget all this level this and level that.In my view, the ICC has double standards. Punishment is imposed to varying degrees depending to a large extent on the complexion of the player. This talk about the ICC president being Indian doesn't mean a thing.

Posted by Majoreg on (July 11, 2010, 1:01 GMT)

Forget race! The reality is the ICC is not balanced in how it disciplines players from the financially weaker boards. Remember the Harbhajhan - Simmonds "Monkey affair"? No one was really found guilty because it involved the heavyweight Australia and Indian boards. Could you imagine how that would have gone if Bhaji was from the West Indies or Bangladesh? I accept Benn has serious attitude issues. That frankly is why he wasn't called up to WI duty 5 years ago. I believe though that his on field taunting was his way of getting back at Steyn and the SA fast bowlers who saw it fit to continue with their "chin music" bowling tactics to tailenders something that the WI greats would not normally do. With respect to the Kallis - Roach incident take a look at the video to see how Kallis went on at Roach after Roach returned the "chin music" favour and almost took his head off! That's what set Roach off. The video shows Kallis chirping on at Roach but he gets away scotch free, no fine! $$ talks

Posted by   on (July 11, 2010, 0:08 GMT)

its good Benn get penalised for his behaviour ... but shame on ICC for not punishing Dale Steyn, the worst one with attitude problem on SA camp ...

Posted by Chris_P on (July 10, 2010, 23:46 GMT)

Do some of you guys even read what he did? First of all he pleaded guilty so he acknowledged he did sopmething wrong!!! Secondly, this wasn't even related to any incidents on the field, he went into a dressing room, barged into a dressing OFF THE FIELD PLAY! This could be easily be taken to the law and could have been charged for a number of legal issues and possibly faced court and prison term in some coiuntries. We are talking about a no-go zone for players and he clearly broke that barrier. He appears to have some psychologial issues he needs to address as these incidents are starting to mount up. Some of you guys hsould realize the difference between sledging and outright personal abuse. One test match, in my opinion is worth far more than a couple of insignificant ODI's or T20's. They are kidding aren't they? Who cares about ODI's or T20's unless they are world cups?

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 23:29 GMT)

Watson provokes Gambhir. Gambhir reacts and is banned, Watson gets a slap on the wrist Benn provokes Steyn and the reverse happens. This time Steyn gets a slap on the wrist for reacting and Benn gets banned. This inconsistency is a joke. I agree people who provoke reactions deserve punishment, but at least make the punishments consistent. I hope there is no rascist undertones here, but the ICC is not doing itself any favours. (From an Australian who is sick of double standards and seemingly random punsihments)

Posted by Metman on (July 10, 2010, 22:49 GMT)

Benn is not the first player to barge into the opposing teams dressing room to give them a piece of their mind. It happens all the time,maybe this time the language was more aggressive!I have no problem with Benn being banned for one or two matches.This spitting incident is the first and far more insulting and degrading than barging into a room,therefore,Stein should have been banned also.West Indies Lawyers please take note!If nothing happens,the next time the West Indies play against Teams like Australia who persists in PROVOKING players by SLEDGING!SPIT AT WHOEVER IS PROVOKING YOU ,if you are a first time offender,and see what would happen.You should only be fined your entire match fee!Stein is lucky that Benn didnt spit back at him,I would have done that!Suppose Stein had spat at a Jamaican player in Jamaica?

Posted by Avenash on (July 10, 2010, 22:18 GMT)

Benn deserves more than this! He's become too indiscipline. There's no place in the game for this type of behaviour...He's has become typical of West Indies cricket!

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (July 10, 2010, 22:04 GMT)

Where's Steyn's punishment?

Posted by Dreama on (July 10, 2010, 20:50 GMT)

I watch the ODI match today Bangladesh VS England, the inconsistencies of the ICC are alarming. Bengla's best bat on the day was given out caught behind when the ball touched nothing, no bat, no glove, not even shirt, however when the English batted Collingwood hit the white off the ball all the players celebrated while the umpire stood still like a complete idiot.

People who always benefit from errors will argue that they even out, I beg to differ Bangladesh could have won that match with ten overs to spare if the playing field was level, I venture to say today would not be the first time they would have defeated England.

Posted by Dreama on (July 10, 2010, 20:49 GMT)

Two years ago Steyn and Parchment had an altercation, the Match Referee in his wordage said Parchment playing in his first Test should have known better, but Steyn in his 19th was allowed to behave any which way. It makes perfect sense that if you find a Jackass to ride it, and the WICB is just that. I am not a promoter of dissent but sometimes you are required to use Any Means Necessary, Ben should not have made the treat, he should have acted silently.

Posted by lugujaga on (July 10, 2010, 20:37 GMT)


Posted by maidenwicket on (July 10, 2010, 20:13 GMT)

Nothing to row about the crowe brothers as match referees, and not to talk about not so broad minded Chris. These people are clearly biased but they still keep getting posted as match referees. Why? I think the new ICC president should kick these incompetent so called referees out. This is height of partisanship.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 18:48 GMT)

Earle - I did not say that there is racial bias in EVERY decision, nor that Benn was INNOCENT. I am speaking about the consistent DOUBLE STANDARD, in these types of decisions. i want to see ICC address this concern.

Posted by Dazzling_Devil on (July 10, 2010, 18:44 GMT)

@ All..

Benn's history was also taken into consideration before giving the decision. How many time before was Dale Steyn involved in such controversy? And if you saw the match, Benn was continuously chirping around n getting into long conversations wid batsmen after every over. He did that to Prince and Boucher too. Steyn was the only one who reacted, but he probably deserved Spits from all the South Africans.

Posted by convertorboy on (July 10, 2010, 18:10 GMT)

Will ICC make a 4 ODI ban mandatory for sledging now? How can they justify a fine for Steyn and match banning for Benn? I would be in favour of a global ban on sledging but it needs to be enforced for all players/coaches and not only for specific teams. Its also interesting to know that teams can now apply directly to ICC to target players.

Posted by ABRAR-JANJUA on (July 10, 2010, 18:07 GMT)

It was always on the card.now what we will say CLEAR DOUBLE STANDER,ofcourse yes.This is not going to be happen some thing new.absoutely ridiculous...shame for ICC...

Posted by Jdevanesan on (July 10, 2010, 18:00 GMT)

Steyn's action was a Blatant disrespect to another teams representative. But ICC doesnt seem to care. What ICC says is Provocation is fine (Kallis is given a free go) and Spitting if someone sledges you is accepted with minimal Penalty. So WI Should start Sledging and Spitting at the opponents if they sledge. Benn could have controlled his emotions better still not every man takes insult lightly. May be ICC should say the Aussies / SA / England to stop sledging else it will slowly get into a spitting competition in future

Posted by ArvindNair on (July 10, 2010, 17:19 GMT)

Oh come on..this is just way too blatant. There is no way that Steyn can get away without a much harsher penalty. Its just perplexing that this keeps happening all the time.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 17:10 GMT)

As a West Indian, I am tired of those who see racial bias in every decision. Maybe there is or maybe there isn't. The issue is that Mr. Benn needs to control himself. Going into another team's dressing room to confront a player is reprehensible and must be severely dealt with. It is both foolish and dangerous. Certainly, spitting at a player is also reprehensible and should be severely reprimanded. All players must be made to take full responsibility for their actions both on and off the field of play.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 16:50 GMT)

Why should I be surprised? How much more will the ICC do with their DOUBLE STANDARD to bury West Indies. Since the Windies power house days of the late 1970s, this began by changing cricket laws specifically to hinder them. The biggest poor sportsmen over the last 40 years have been Australia and they get a tap on the wrist. They enshrined the rude behavior and pretty it up as "sledging". Who was the spitter in this incident? Steyn should get the same treatment however the WI Board rarely go to the ICC with complaints. This is a disgrace to cricket. A lot of the non-white players know what's going on. Thank God Mr. Howard was defeated for ICC leadership. I wish some analysis should be done of who gets the penalties and who gets let off. This biased practice will continue because bias is a part of cricket and balanced leadership is needed in ICC. The envy of India Board by certain Boards is plain to see because they command the biggest purses. The whole thing is plain ridiculous.

Posted by vinnigefanie on (July 10, 2010, 16:38 GMT)

There is something radically wrong here with so many climbing on the racist band wagon again. What has not been reported is what Benn said to Steyn when bursting into the Proteas dressingroom uninvited and said to Steyn "This is Barbados and there are many ways to skin a cat. Don't walk on the streets tnight, ask for room service." This is part of the official report from the management of the South African team to the ICC who are of Indian ancestry, not white. Some years ago, a former New Zealand captain after a first tour of the West Indies when asked to comment on how he saw the West Indies, remarked, there are some West Indies players officials and even spectators who still carry a post-colonial chip on their shoulder. They need to get rid of it. For those pointing fingers Kallis did nothing wrong in ignoring Roach, walking away is the best way to defuse the problem. Benn is been asking for it and got it. By the way, I am a South African coloured.

Posted by RK03 on (July 10, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

another biased and weird call from ICC. DS gets a match fee for spitting on a player, and Benn gets banned from 4 matches??

That's ICC

Posted by maztermine on (July 10, 2010, 15:52 GMT)

Once again, as usual, the blacks are the ones that are getting it hard. Steyn spat, Benn provoked. Players always try to provoke, it was steyn's fault for spitting. He should have gotten banned.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 14:32 GMT)

Recounting Jeff Crowe's words "Clearly, Sulieman has acted inappropriately here and in a way that is contrary to the spirit of cricket." While acknowledging that what Benn did was boneheaded, I am amazed that speaking and taunting an opponent is seen as such a vile act in cricket. No wonder it is loosing it's appeal. In my opinion the match referee's focus is in the wrong areas - it's as if there's a move to castrate the cricketers. Well, then again what can you say about a sport (job) where you are penalized (reduce match fee) for working overtime.

Posted by SUNDOS on (July 10, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

Unfortunately this the future of cricket..half baked talents and to make up for it ill tempered outbursts.The ICC however has no teeth,we have had generations of cricketers bring disgrace to the game.Just two odi's or one test should not be the punishment.Its time the code of conduct is enforced more stringently.And its not a cultural thing to sledge Aussies are you listening??

Posted by mpcobra on (July 10, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

ICC always double standards and been racistic throughout. It has 2 categories of punishments players belonging from ENG,OZ,SA,NZ if they fight against each othere there is nothing reported and even with offent repeaters like haddin and M JOHNSON they will never get any BAN in comparision if you Belong to Asian countries (Ind,Pak,SL,Ban)or WI players will get regular banning. don't understand how an altercation involving any of these nations both Country players are banned. but if there is game between Asian+WI against Eng,OZ,SA,NZ then i am sure these guysget away with a WARNING and Asian+WI players need to PAY for replyingto antics of REGULAR OFFENDERS -JOHNSON,HADDIN,STEYN,KALLIS,S BOARD THIS LIST CAN GOON AND ON GR8 ICC DOUBLESTANDARDS

Posted by gudolerhum on (July 10, 2010, 14:21 GMT)

@Carlos Hunte - totally ridiculous comment, but entirely typical! WI players are never to blame, someone else must always be the fall guy. Benn apparently has some psychological issues and he will cause trouble whenever he is selected. Steyn made a stupid mistake and was punished. As far as I am aware Kallis has never previously demonstrated any aggressive on-field attitude and it must have taken a lot of aggro from Roach to provoke him. He responded to the provocation, that is all. Roach should not follow Benn's example but this is the result of allowing bad apples to mix with the good ones, the good ones get corrupted. Roach has a future, he should be properly guided to avoid similar problems. This is where good management and counseling are essential - is anyone listening? No, I thought not.

Posted by TAJY on (July 10, 2010, 14:11 GMT)

What? Benn entered the South African dressing room??!!! I didn't hear about this incident. Is this man insane? Why is he trying so hard to ruin his career? West Indies is the most disappointing team I've ever seen in sport. Our best players are either injury prone (Sarwan, Gayle, Edwards, Taylor) or self-destructive idiots (Benn) and/or lack any common sense whatsoever (Dwayne Smith, Deonarine, every other in & out player). Its infuriating, these men are dumb and their managers aren't any better cuz they allow these players to stay dumb and make themselves look like fools. Thats why there are PR managers who aid the players in conducting themselves properly. Benn had no call even thinking about barging into another dressing room, someone needs to inject some sense into him. I'm so disappointed in this brain-less player who has so much talent. GROW UP STUPID!

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 13:58 GMT)

What absolute nonsense!! The ICC continues to embarrass itself with it's blatant prejudice. There is absolutely no way a West Indian player could or would have spat at an opposing player and then simply be handed a punishment of one game's playing fee. Is this a joke? The punishment would have been much worse and it should have been for Steyn. The television commentator's blatant disgust at the time of the incident, better reflected its severity than this farcical ruling. Keep going ICC. You're doing a great job helping to maintain equality and fairness on and off the field.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 13:46 GMT)

Dint really look like Kallis did anything wrong...he was only trying to walk away.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 13:31 GMT)

what about Kallis? There cannot be an altercation if there is only one person. Kallis should be fined too.

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