Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here
Shane Warne might have played his last game of this Big Bash League campaign after being suspended for one match following his ugly clash with Marlon Samuels on Sunday night. Warne, the Melbourne Stars captain, was also fined $4500 following the fracas in the derby against the Melbourne Renegades at the MCG, while Samuels is yet to face his hearing after also being charged over the incidents.
Warne was charged with four breaches of Cricket Australia's Code of Behaviour and found guilty of three; Samuels was charged with two offences. Warne's suspension means he will miss the Stars' last qualifying match at home to the Sydney Thunder on Tuesday and his chances of taking any further part in the tournament will hinge on whether his side, which is one of four sides locked together on four wins in the middle of the points table, reaches the finals.
Warne confronted Samuels physically and verbally during the Melbourne Renegades innings at the MCG, seemingly in retaliation for an incident that had occurred earlier during the Melbourne Stars innings. During that incident, the bowler Samuels grabbed David Hussey by the shirt and prevented him taking off for a second run, a strange act given that Hussey's path had not taken him into contact with Samuels.
Later while Samuels was batting, he took off for a run and turned back, after which Warne came down the pitch and said to Samuels: "You want to grab some more people? F*** you Marlon." Warne, who was wearing a Fox Sports microphone at the time, then grabbed Samuels' shirt, apparently to demonstrate what he felt Samuels had done wrong earlier, and pointed at him threateningly.
The clash continued in the next over when Warne collected the ball running in from the off side and under-armed it into the body of Samuels, who was in his crease not attempting a run. Samuels responded by tossing his bat down the pitch, vaguely in the direction of Warne.
On Monday morning, Cricket Australia confirmed a long list of charges from the incidents. Warne was found guilty of three: showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision; engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with another player; and using obscene, offensive or generally insulting language to another player. He was found not guilty of throwing the ball at or near a player in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner.
After the hearing, Warne indicated that he would consider appealing the suspension, but later in the day he decided to accept his ban and hoped the Stars reached the finals. In a series of tweets, Warne also expressed disappointment at his own actions.
"I have always been passionate when I play cricket and had the game at heart along with its image..." he tweeted. "I'm disappointed at some of my actions last night as captain & as a player,but I'm also very disappointed at the severe penalty I received!"
Samuels has been charged with engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with another player; and unbecoming behaviour, namely that "players and officials must not at any time engage in behaviour unbecoming to a representative player or official that could (a) bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute or (b) be harmful to the interests of cricket".
However, Samuels ended the match with a potentially serious injury to his eye socket after he top-edged a Lasith Malinga delivery through the grille of his helmet, and any suspension may not affect his availability anyway. The Renegades coach Simon Helmot said Samuels was recovering at the team hotel and would be taking some time off to care for his injury, and a time for his hearing is yet to be confirmed by Cricket Australia.
"We're now waiting for the swelling around his eye to subside before determining the full extent of the blow," Helmot said. "We are also assessing what, if anything, this means in terms of squad composition for the remainder of the tournament and will take action to source an international replacement if necessary."