Mark Boucher, the South Africa wicketkeeper, will lose 60 percent of his match fees during the upcoming Twenty20 World Championship after criticising the South African board in an interview given to Business Day.
A disciplinary panel found Boucher guilty of three breaches of Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) code of conduct, on charges relating to comments he had made about the exclusion of Jacques Kallis from the national team and about the Twenty20 tournament.
Advocate MD Kuper, CSA's disciplinary commissioner, said Boucher had played down the importance of the Twenty20 tournament. "The comments were prejudicial (detrimental) to the selection of the team and hence to the Twenty20 itself, for if South Africa was not fielding its best team that, in turn, was detrimental to the prestige of the World Cup."
"His comments are dismissive of Twenty20 and cannot but help tarnish the brand in the public perception and are media comments which are detrimental to the prestige of the Twenty20 World Cup tournament."
The CSA had asked for Boucher to be banned from the tournament but Tony Irish, the CEO of the South African Cricketers' Association, representing Boucher, asked for a reprimand. Boucher accepted the fine after initially suggesting that it would be against CSA rules.
Kuper said a fine was appropriate. "In my view, it is such a sanction [i.e fine] which best answers the case. Applied in the context of the Twenty20 World Championship, this should translate into the forfeiture of a significant percentage [60%] of the player's match fee not for a single match but over the course of the tournament."
In his interview, Boucher was quoted by the newspaper as suggesting there were ulterior motives and "non-sporting reasons" for Kallis' omission: "It is either those who have an issue with him, and have a chip on their shoulders, or those who have ulterior motives."
"First prize for those of us who love cricket is to be Test world champions. Second prize is to be 50-over world champions. Twenty20 only comes after those, really," Boucher said.