|Wednesday, 25 February 2004|
For dissent: Gilchrist fined, Symonds not guilty
by Sa'adi Thawfeeq
Australian vice captain and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist was fined 50 percent of his match fee by ICC match referee Mike Procter for showing dissent on the field during the second one-day international against Sri Lanka played at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium on Sunday.
Gilchrist's team mate Andrew Symonds who was his partner in the middle during the incident was also charged with dissent but was found not guilty and escaped any punishment or reprimand.
Gilchrist received the maximum fine of A$2500 (50% of his match fee). It was the third time in three years that he has been fined for dissent.
He was also found guilty of dissent for disputing a decision in the fifth Test against England in Sydney last year and for venting his displeasure at the bowler's end over a verdict in a one-day game against India in Bangalore in 2001.
Gilchrist was the non-striker when umpire Peter Manuel ruled Symonds out leg before wicket to Kumar Dharmasena when he had scored 10.
Manuel sensationally reversed his decision after discussions with square leg umpire Billy Bowden revealed the ball had been edged onto his pad. He called Symonds back to the crease after speaking to Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu who had no objection to the batsman being called back.
At a press conference held at Taj Hotel yesterday Procter said that Gilchrist was "frustrated"' at the charge and pleaded not guilty, defending his actions along the lines he was showing his emotions.
Procter said: "It is tough on him. He said 'what's going on here?' once or twice and it didn't come across well on television.
Then he went back to the crease and threw his gloves down. There was much discussion at the hearing and I took everything on board."
Procter said that he let off Symonds despite the player making objections of his dismissal at the crease because he accepted that "in cricket there is a small disparity between disappointment and dissent" and that his reaction was "more disappointment than dissent."
"There will be some criticism in certain quarters for taking no action against Symonds but players are not robots," said Procter. "There is going to be emotion shown by some players. But there was no shake of the head from Symonds, he briefly looked at his bat and walked straight off."
Procter took into consideration the fact that Manuel changed his decision but the umpire told him there was no way the players' reaction made any difference to his verdict, which he wanted to change five seconds after he made it.
Gilchrist, who it is understood to have strong feelings about the charge and the verdict, is likely to face further action today under Cricket Australia's Spirit of Cricket code introduced last October.
Under the pact the players are not permitted to show dissent against umpires decisions.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who as national captain is one of the supervisors of the code, may have to stand in judgement of Gilchrist for the offence. Gilchrist is the first player to be found guilty of a code of behaviour offence at international level since the code was introduced.
Last year in the World Cup semi-final match against Sri Lanka at Port Elizabeth, Gilchrist surprised his team mates by giving himself out caught behind for 22 when the umpire had negatived the appeal. Gilchrist said later that he knew he had nicked the ball to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara. He was praised for his fine sportsmanship.
Produced by Lake House