Hinds fined, but Smith in the clear
The West Indian batsman Wavell Hinds has been fined his entire match fee from the final Test against South Africa in Antigua, for a Level 2 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct. But Graeme Smith, South Africa's captain, has been cleared of any misconduct on his part, after a confrontation between the pair on the final day of the match.
The incident occurred towards the end of a generally well-mannered series. Hinds deliberately overstepped the popping crease during his bowling spell and at one stage he was seen to spit on the ground in front of Smith. Billy Bowden, one of the umpires for the Test, and Brian Lara had to step in.
Jeff Crowe, the match referee, found that Hinds breached the ICC Code for intentional throwing, overstepping the popping crease, and generally unacceptable conduct. Crowe said: "It is a breach of consequence that undermines the game's values and is unacceptable in any given situation. The player has apologised for his actions."
Smith, who angrily denied reports that he had earlier used racist comments towards Dwayne Bravo, was later found not guilty of "conduct unbecoming [to his] status which could bring himself or the game into disrepute".
"No conclusive evidence was produced or found to support the serious nature of the alleged breach," said Crowe in an ICC statement. "We must now look forward to a positive ODI series." Smith had earlier told the South Africa African press agency News24: "This is ridiculous. Action should be taken against the people spreading the story."
The charge against Hinds was originally brought by the umpires as a Level 3 offence but, after considering the evidence, Crowe used the discretion available to him to reduce it to a Level 2 one . For Level 1 and Level 2 breaches of the code there is no appeal procedure for the player.