|Player:||Imran Nazir, Inzamam-ul-Haq, BC Broad, A Nel, JM Kemp, MV Boucher, SA Bucknor|
DateLine: 10th February 2007
Pakistan player Imran Nazir has been found not guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during his country’s ODI against South Africa in Durban on Wednesday.
Nazir was charged by the South Africa team management with a Level 1 offence, clause 1.4, which refers to “Using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture.”
The alleged incident took place when Nazir and South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel had an exchange of views during the Pakistan innings.
Match referee Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel convened a hearing the day after the match in question, following the arrival of both teams in Port Elizabeth, and, after giving the matter further consideration overnight, arrived at his not guilty verdict on Friday.
Explaining his decision, Mr Broad said: “There was no doubt that some strong language was used on the field but I felt it was important to take into account the context in which it took place.
“I formed the view it was a passing remark between two players in the heat of a match and on that basis I decided it did not require action from me.
“Players must be aware that they cannot go around abusing each other right, left and centre and expect to avoid punishment and if that type and level of abuse is reported and the player is found guilty then I will take firm action.
“However, I believe players must still be able to display and express a degree of emotion and passion on the field because they are not robots; they are human beings and we must have some recognition of that.”
The hearing was attended by Imran Nazir , Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and team manager Talat Ali, together with umpire Steve Bucknor, South Africa team manager Goolam Raja and South Africa players Andre Nel, Justin Kemp and Mark Boucher.
If found guilty of a Level 1 offence, the punishments range from a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and/or a fine of up to the equivalent of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee.
With all Level 1 offences the player does not have a right of appeal and the ICC match referee’s decision is final and binding.
Mr Broad also explained that he spoke to the captains and team managers of both sides before the start of today’s ODI in Port Elizabeth .
“I have seen indications of rising tensions among the two sets of players over the course of the Test and ODI series and I wished to remind everyone of their responsibilities to each other and the game in ensuring everyone upholds the spirit of cricket,” he said.
“I believe my message was understood and I look forward to seeing the remainder of matches in this series played in the best traditions of top level cricket, hard but fair.”