Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies wicket-keeper, has been fined 20% of his match fee for his paper-waving protest directed at Viv Richards after reaching his century on the fourth day of the Edgbaston Test. The ICC charged Ramdin with conduct contrary to the spirit of the game and he pleaded guilty to the offence.
"We all understand the importance of celebrating a milestone, however, one should not use that time as an opportunity to hit out at one's critic or send messages to the world," Roshan Mahanama, the match referee, said. "I hope Mr Ramdin has learnt his lesson from this incident and that we will not see such behaviour by him or any player in the future when celebrating an achievement within a game of international cricket."
Immediately after he pushed Tim Bresnan behind square for a single to reach his second Test century, Ramdin removed his helmet, and to the surprise of everyone removed a piece of paper from his right pocket and flashed it aggressively towards the pavilion. The message read: "YEH VIV TALK NAH."
After the days' play, Ramdin revealed he had prepared the note on Saturday morning. He said it was a response to Richards' criticism of his deteriorating form after he had scored only 51 runs and kept wicket inconsistently in the first two Tests. Ramdin later admitted his reaction had been emotional.
Darren Sammy, West Indies captain, said the fine was unfortunate, but that his players respected past achievements. "We as a West Indian team have a lot of respect for our past players especially somebody so great as Sir Viv," Sammy said. "We all take a lot of inspiration from Fire in Babylon which reflects our history. I know Ramdin will probably have a word with him and I hope there is no love lost. And we will move on and continue respecting our great past players."
Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler, had been critical of Ramdin on ESPNcricinfo, saying that Ramdin had crossed the line and should be reprimanded severely.
Sammy settled for backing the ICC fine. "The ICC match referee has done his part," he said. "We are all human beings and things do happen and as a team we support our players. That said we've got to do what is right. Denesh realised he probably overdid it a little bit."
Sammy said he was completely unaware of Ramdin's celebration plans and was actually expecting the Trinidadian, who is a big fan of Chelsea football player Didier Drogba, to slide on the Edgbaston turf. "I was wondering what the celebration would be. I know he is a big fan of Didier Drogba. So I thought he would probably slide. But none of us knew what was coming."
Ramdin has had a piece of paper stored in his pocket each time he has scored a hundred, both of which have come against England. In 2009, at Bridgetown, when he scored his maiden Test century, he unfurled another piece of paper, listing three names: Ian Bishop, David Williams and Ramnaresh Sarwan. It was his vote of thanks for playing a big role in his performance.
The fact was not lost on Sammy. "Probably he should bat with more notes in his pocket," he joked.