Chris Gayle has been fined 30% of his match fee following an incident with Michael Clarke during West Indies' win against Australia in Mumbai on Wednesday. Clarke was found not guitly and also rejected suggestions he called Gayle a "second-class citizen".
Gayle's loud comments and animated demeanour during the 10-run victory were at odds with his usual placid self. The situation appeared to be getting the better of him at one stage and, when fielding off his own bowling, he hurled the ball back at Clarke to shy at the stumps but it went above the wicketkeeper for four overthrows. Gayle also followed Clarke down the pitch after one over and appeared to nudge him.
"What started off as banter between the two players got out of hand and Chris Gayle went over the top in his reactions," Mike Procter, the ICC match referee, said after the hearing. "We do not want robots on the field and we want to ensure players play with enthusiasm and passion. We saw a great deal of that during an excellent match on Wednesday but there is a line between what is acceptable and what is not and Chris crossed it."
Gayle was found guilty of a code one breach for failing to "conduct play within the spirit of the game". Clarke was found not guilty of the same offence in a separate hearing in Mumbai.
The Courier-Mail reported a West Indian "insider" saying Gayle was upset by being called a "second-class citizen". However, Clarke dismissed the claim. "If anyone is second-class it's me, I'm from Liverpool," Clarke, who grew up in the working-class Sydney suburb, said. "I didn't say that - I wouldn't say that - and neither did any of my team-mates. Why Chris way fired up I'm not sure, I certainly know I didn't say anything to Chris when he batted."
Ricky Ponting, who has been found guilty twice over the past year for poor on-field behaviour, was upset after the match that charges had not been laid immediately. "If there's any consistency in the game that should be looked at," Ponting said. He got his wish when the umpires Mark Benson and Rudi Koertzen changed their minds on Thursday morning.