Laser man mars Australia’s T20 win over South Africa

January 14th, 2009 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 14 (IANS) A spectator who flashed a laser torch to distract rookie South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell at the Gabba Tuesday night faces a fine of up to Australian $8,000 and potential jail time of up to three years.Cricket Australia (CA) Wednesday apologised to the South African team management over the laser scandal, which was clearly picked up by TV cameras when a green light flashed across Parnell as he dived at long-off to catch a skied shot from Australian batsman Michael Hussey.

Police minister Judy Spence said an investigation has been launched into the incident that marred Australia’s six-wicket victory to wrap up the Twenty20 international series.

“Under the Stadiums Act the person could be fined up to $8,000 for interfering with a player. It could also warrant a criminal assault and that would be a penalty of up to three years in prison,” Spence was quoted as saying by The Age.

Laser pointers are currently legal to own in Queensland but Spence is campaigning to make them illegal under the Weapons Act unless they are needed for specific lawful use.

The 19-year-old Parnell, who made his debut in Twenty20 international, told CA that he has seen something flashing in his eyes but it had not affected his efforts to catch the ball.

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