Dhoni suspended for two ODIs for slow over-rate in Nagpur

India players receive 40-per-cent fines under the revised code

Gambhir found not guilty for breach of ICC Code of Conduct

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been suspended for two ODIs for maintaining a slow over-rate during his side’s three-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the second ODI in Nagpur on Friday.

Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the ban after Dhoni’s side was ruled to be three overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.

In accordance with Article 2.5.2 of the new ICC Code of Conduct, which deals with serious over-rate offences, the captain receives two suspension points while the players are fined 10-per-cent of their match fees for the first two overs short and 20-per-cent for every additional over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.

Two suspension points in the enhanced code means a ban of one Test or two ODIs, depending whichever comes first for the player. As such, Dhoni has been banned for the next two ODIs to be played in Cuttack and Kolkata on 21 and 24 December, respectively, while his players received 40-per-cent fines.

Mr Crowe reached his conclusion after a hearing attended by the India captain, India coach Gary Kirsten, on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Shavir Tarapore, and third umpire Sanjay Hazare.

Commenting on his decision, Mr Crowe said: “The India captain like his Sri Lanka counterpart was reminded and warned before and during the ODI series to be mindful of the slow over-rates and the penalties under the revised code.

“The India side was at par until the 42nd over but bowled only eight overs in the last hour which is unacceptable. I accept the fact that the ultimate desire of the India side was to win the match but at the same time it had deadlines to meet and also fulfill the responsibilities it owed to the stakeholders.”

If Dhoni is found guilty of a second serious over-rate offence in an ODI over the next 12 months, he will receive a sanction of between two and eight suspension points as per the provisions of the new, enhanced ICC Code of Conduct.

The full text of the code, which was recently revamped, can be found at http://static.icc-cricket.yahoo.net/ugc/documents/DOC_F97840A2DC1953F7C5DD8EBBE3BA2E25_1255255836634_415.pdf. Article 2.5.2, which deals with serious over-rate offences, can be found on page 291 while the penalties can be found on page 318 of this pdf document.

Meanwhile, India’s middle-order batsman Gautam Gambhir has been found not guilty for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the Nagpur ODI.

In a hearing convened after the match on Friday evening, the left-hander pleaded not guilty to contravening Article 2.1.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials which relates to “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by action or verbal abuse”.

The incident took place in the fifth over of India’s innings when Gambhir was run-out by Angelo Mathews.

Mr Crowe said: “It was an unusual incident and while the umpires were justified in laying the charges, after studying all the evidences I found that Mr Gambhir was actually annoyed and irritated by the actions of the bowler than at the decision of the third umpire.

“At the same time, the umpires and I were convinced that the actions of the bowler were unintentional” said Mr Crowe.

The charges were brought by the on-field umpires who attended the hearing along with the player, Dhoni and Kirsten.

Sanctions included in Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct can range from an official reprimand to a fine of up to 50-per-cent of a player’s match fee.