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.