Watson fined, hearing on Gambhir adjourned

October 31st, 2008 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has been fined 10 percent of his match fee for being found guilty of “verbally engaging” with Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir during the third cricket Test here.In Gamhir’s case, the hearing has been adjourned until Friday morning to allow match referee Chris Broad to review the evidence.

Watson and Gambhir were involved in a skirmish Wednesday and both players were charged with violating the “spirit of the game” under International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Code of Conduct.

At a hearing in front of the match referee, Watson pleaded not guilty to a Level 1 charge under clause C1 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which states that players “shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the laws of cricket”.

“After considering the evidence, Broad found Watson guilty of verbally engaging with Gambhir in a manner that was not in keeping the spirit of cricket,” ICC said in a release Thursday.

“In cases of Level 1 offences, the match referee’s decision is final and binding and, as such, there is no right of appeal.”

During the opening day’s play, while taking a run Watson hurled some abuses against Gambhir, who stuck out his elbow that hit the Australian all-rounder.

Gambhir, who scored a double century Thursday, has been charged with a C1 Level 2 offence of not playing within the “Spirit of Cricket”.

The penalty for a Level 2 offence is a fine of between 50 and 100 percent of the player’s match fee or a maximum ban of one Test match or two ODIs.

The hearing took place for an hour with the match referee, the on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar, third umpire Suresh Shastri and fourth umpire Sameer Bandekar, Australia team coach Tim Nielsen and Australia team manager Steve Bernard were present.

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