Sreesanth, the Rest of India fast bowler, has been fined 60% of his match fee for using offensive language towards a player during the Irani Cup match against Mumbai in Nagpur. Dhawal Kulkarni, the Mumbai seamer, was let off with an official warning for instigating the bowler.
KP Bhaskar, the match referee, held the hearing on Saturday evening and announced his decision today. The verdict on Sreesanth ran thus: "You are being charged under clause 2.8 of level 2 for using language that is obscene, offensive, or of a generally insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectators ... You are being fined 60% of [your] match fee and a strict warning that next time [there is] a breach in the code of conduct, you shall be charged under level 3 offense." A level 3 offense would lead to a ban from some games, which would be at the discretion of the match referee.
The incident occurred on the third morning, when Mumbai were batting. Kulkarni took a single off Sreesanth and words were exchanged as he crossed over. Kulkarni said a few words and an animated Sreesanth dragged himself into a verbal tiff. The umpires Shavir Tarapore and Amiesh Sahiba quickly got together to settle the situation but they later reported both to the match referee.
Sreesanth has already been in the dock in the past for his publicised spat with Harbhajan Singh during the IPL and various other run-ins with opposition and umpires. During this Irani Cup, apart from his stand-off with Kulkarni, he was also involved in an exchange of words with Ramesh Powar. Both were seen taunting each other but Sreesanth later said it was just a friendly joust with his IPL team-mate and that neither of them crossed the line.