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Gibbs' appeal rejected by Richie Benaud

South Africa player Herschelle Gibbs will miss one Test Match, one Twenty20 International and one ODI following the decision today by ICC Code of Conduct Commissioner Richie Benaud to reject his appeal against a ban imposed by ICC match referee Chris Broa

Brian Murgatroyd
South Africa player Herschelle Gibbs will miss one Test Match, one Twenty20 International and one ODI following the decision today by ICC Code of Conduct Commissioner Richie Benaud to reject his appeal against a ban imposed by ICC match referee Chris Broad.
The decision means that Herschelle Gibbs will not be eligible for his side's third Test against Pakistan starting in Cape Town on Friday and will also miss the T20I and the first ODI of the five-match series between the two sides that follows.
The original sanction was a ban of two Tests but the Code specifies that the ban should apply to the next matches in which the player is scheduled to play.
In Herschelle Gibbs' case the ban therefore becomes one ruling him out of one Test, one T20I and one ODI as those are the next fixtures for South Africa.
Mr Benaud's decision follows a teleconference on Wednesday involving the player, his legal representative, Mr Broad, a legal representative acting on his behalf and ICC In-House Lawyer Ms Urvasi Naidoo, who was present on the call in an administrative capacity.
In rejecting the appeal, Mr Benaud wrote: "It was put to me that the fact the remarks in question were heard through stump microphones on the ground should invalidate the whole matter.
"(This is) because of ICC's memo of 12 April 2006 which pointed out that there had been some problems with stump microphones not being switched off at the right times.
"That though is ICC policy rather than a Law or Playing Condition of the game and Chris Broad, in his decision, gave Herschelle Gibbs full mitigation for the fact that the stump microphones had been left on by the television network.
"With the benefit of some experience I am able to add that players, no matter where they may be, should always bear in mind that a microphone could be "live."
"That does not just apply to stump microphones used by television networks, but it could be in a radio studio or in a press conference with the print media. There is no malice about it, but it could happen just because someone has not pushed a button or pulled a switch.
"It is precisely the same in the television commentary box for a television commentator. If you do not use the words, they do not get to air."
Despite rejecting the appeal, Mr Benaud was explicit in his view that it did not mean Herschelle Gibbs was a racist.
"At Chris Broad's hearing (Pakistan team manager) Talat Ali spoke about the offence the words used by Herschelle would give to the whole Pakistan nation. I am not surprised.
"(However), as an Appeals Commissioner and a person, I certainly do not consider Herschelle to be a racist and I take great exception to the suggestion, in the same way I believe Chris Broad would object (to suggestions his finding would do the same)."
In his judgment, Mr Benaud expressed surprise the South Africa players did not draw the attention of match officials to the abuse they were receiving from sections of the crowd.
"Talat Ali asked a very pertinent question (at the original hearing) on whether or not the captain or the players, said to have been abused on the boundary, had brought the matter to the attention of the umpires. The answer was "No, only to the security officers."
"I find it extraordinary that apparently the umpires were never brought into the problem by the captain, or the players. Or by Mr Gibbs himself.
"On the question of procedural matters, I am satisfied that Chris Broad handled those in straightforward fashion, that no justice was denied, the player admitted using the words and unfortunately they went to the world.
"My view is that the sentence imposed by Mr Broad is correct and accordingly the appeal is dismissed," he added.
Herschelle Gibbs' appeal related to a charge, laid by ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed, following an incident that took place shortly before the lunch interval on Sunday, the fourth day of the first Test match at Centurion, when the player's comments were overheard through a stump microphone on the ground.
Herschelle Gibbs was found guilty of a Level 3 offence, clause 3.3 of the Code which prohibits using "...any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin."
Mr Benaud's decision has now been formally passed to the ICC's In-House Lawyer and forwarded to Herschelle Gibbs' representatives, Cricket South Africa and Mr Broad.
Under the terms of the ICC Code of Conduct, the decision of the ICC Code of Conduct Commissioner is final and binding.
Richie Benaud is one of the longest-serving members of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission and is universally respected as a highly knowledgeable and impartial observer of cricket.
He captained Australia in 28 of his 63 Tests, leading the side when it regained The Ashes against England with a 4-0 series win in 1958/59 and, after retiring as a player, he has forged an outstanding career as a broadcaster and journalist.
The full list of ICC Code of Conduct Commissioners can be found at:
Full details of the appeal process can be found within the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials, which is located at:

Brian Murgatroyd is ICC Manager - Media and Communications