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    April 17, 2006

    Naughty naughty Ricky

    Ricky Ponting effectively got a slap on the wrists when he was fined a paltry 25% of his match fee for his disgraceful (and successful) attempt to get the on-field umpires to revert to the third umpire again when Aftab Ahmed was ruled not out by the third umpire yesterday. I watched the proceedings on TV and Ponting had no business going back to the umpire Ian Howell after the third umpire had given his decision. Ponting kept pointing towards the pavillion/tv umpire's room and after that, Howell & Dar discussed and asked for a rethink by the third umpire, who then ruled Aftab Ahmed out.

    The point isn't about whether Aftab Ahmed was actually out. Replays were inconclusive and so, under the current rules, he ought to have got the benefit of doubt, which he did for a few fleeting seconds. The on-field umpires should have asked Ricky Ponting to go and mind his own business. Ponting clearly breached the rules and the spirit of the game when he discussed the decision with the umpires, forcing them to go back to the third umpire.

    Perhaps Ponting was over-eager to demonstrate that Australia could actually crush Bangladesh, given the result in the first test. Maybe he felt that Aftab would make a blitz 150-ball double century. Why on earth did Australia send in a nightwatchman, against Bangladesh, when they didn't even have to worry about a follow-on this game? Scared, perhaps?

    The ICC's Code of Conduct document clearly puts the onus of playing within the spirit and laws of the game on the captains.
    Players and/or Team Officials shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws of Cricket and the Captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that this is adhered to (Rule CC 5.1 deals with the application of and penalties for breach of this Rule).
    5.7 Nothing in this Code of Conduct alters the onus on the Captain to ensure that the Spirit of the Game is adhered to as stated and defined in the preamble to the Laws of Cricket.
    Today Jeff Crowe let Ponting get away with a miniscule deduction in his match fee, despite the fact that as captain, it was Ricky Ponting's responsibility to act within the code of conduct and the laws & spirit of the game. If he felt that Ponting moved to the umpires and spoke to them and it meant that he had prompted a referral, why wasn't Ponting fined the full 50% and given an official reprimand?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 7:26 PM |
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    12 sledge(s):

    I read about this on cricinfo. But that sounded nothing as incriminatory as you make it sound. So, then what happened was that the third umpire gave Ahmed not out and Ponting objected and the third umpire reverted his decision? That would be a first. If the on-field umpires gave him not out though (rather than the third umpire), then it's a whole different story. And what was the gray area? Was it the case of a catch being claimed after it had bounced off Ahmed's boot.

    By Blogger Pratik (18-Apr-2006, 3:11:00 AM)  

    Maybe he was fined only a little, for the sake of appearances, as in fact, Ponting was right, and the umpire was wrong, not to go to the third umpire in the first place.

    By Blogger Stu (18-Apr-2006, 3:51:00 AM)  

    pratik: Ponting walked upto the umps and kept furiously pointing in the direction of the pavillion/3rd ump room. Then the 2 on-field umps conferred and asked for a rethink and then Aftab was given out. The on-field umps didn't give him out in the first place, they were unsure and referred to the 3rd ump.

    stu: That isn't the point. There's a law on players not being allowed to tell the umps what to do. He flouted it. As a captain he should have copped the entire fine, not just a "I'm being nice to you this time. This is your last warning" fine.

    By Blogger Jagadish (18-Apr-2006, 1:32:00 PM)  

    stu: This is ridiculous, frankly. A law is a law, and it is high time it was applied equally to the Aussies. I'm sure you remember the long debate we've had earlier on this subject :-)

    By Blogger worma (18-Apr-2006, 2:02:00 PM)  

    And a question for Stu, and the rest, to answer : If Ponting was indeed guilty of dissent (as proven through his ultimate penalising) why was the matter not reported by the field umpires, and left for BD team management to take up? And I'm sure the excuse can't be that the umpires missed the moment, since the dissent was directly targeted towards the umpires!

    By Blogger worma (18-Apr-2006, 2:18:00 PM)  

    worma: Maybe they didn't want a bad captain's report?

    By Blogger Jagadish (18-Apr-2006, 6:07:00 PM)  

    I hope you're joking :)

    By Blogger worma (18-Apr-2006, 7:25:00 PM)  

    worma: Yes, but it isn't entirely implausible!

    By Blogger Jagadish (18-Apr-2006, 7:55:00 PM)  

    But then, isn't that true for all umpires acting against all captains? That doesn't stop them against other teams, does it? I may be mistaken, but I don't think such cases (where umpires don't take necessary action, and later its proven that the player/captain was at fault) are a norm?

    By Blogger worma (19-Apr-2006, 2:04:00 PM)  

    worma: There's very little transparency about the ICC's procedures. For e.g. how on earth Bucknor continues to be in the Elite Panel is beyond my understanding, despite the fact that he gets so many decisions wrong, captains will invariably rate him poorly. Ditto for say Bowden as well.

    By Blogger Jagadish (19-Apr-2006, 4:43:00 PM)  

    Yep...agreed. Although I did read (and do a post) on what all is involved in captain's report, and other factors that lead to umpire rating...I don't remember finding it very transparent (or even comprehensible). I wonder when will the ICC wake up to the reality, which the fans already realise, that cricket is not about umpires...its about the game between two teams. I wonder how they allowed the 'use of technology' on scoreboards, and not worry about the 'tradition' of the men standing behind giant boards all day, changing cards.

    By Blogger worma (20-Apr-2006, 4:40:00 PM)  

    worma: Experimenting with the super-sub rule in international cricket when Australia was the only country which had done it before was stupid. Now there's talk of captains being allowed appeals against umpiring decisions.

    By Blogger Jagadish (20-Apr-2006, 5:11:00 PM)  


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