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Ramprakash fined and suspended for dissent

By Peter Deeley

22 June 1998

MARK RAMPRAKASH has been fined 850 - a quarter of his match fee - and given a one-game suspension for dissent during the Lord's Test which ended yesterday in a 10-wicket victory for South Africa. The Middlesex player will not, however, miss the third Test, starting in 10 days' time, because match referee Javed Burki of Pakistan has suspended this punishment for six months.

Burki is to discuss the general question of player behaviour with both captains and the coaches before the Old Trafford Test. He may have been motivated by the actions of South African fast bowler Allan Donald and England captain Alec Stewart in response to decisions yesterday.

Donald showed his frustration when an appeal was rejected and Stewart was seen on television to be silently debating the catch which dismissed him.

Stewart would only say: ``The umpire has given me out. He put his finger up and that's when you walk off.''

Burki said that Ramprakash had been reported by umpire Darrell Hair, of Australia, for ``both physical and verbal dissent''. Ramprakash had stood his ground for some moments after being caught behind in England's first innings, and as he walked off slowly he appeared to make a comment.

Curiously, though the disciplinary hearing was held on Saturday the referee's decision was not published until after Ramprakash had been dismissed for a second time yesterday.

The ICC code of conduct says that match referees can delay their announcements ``in exceptional circumstances''. But the player was told of his punishment before he went out to bat, which appears to make nonsense of the exceptional circumstances.

It was suggested that the England management had requested Burki to hold back until Ramprakash had completed his innings but Stewart said he had no knowledge of this. He added: ``The matter must have been on Ramprakash's mind when he went out but we all made sure he was fully focused on the job ahead.'' In the event Ramprakash lasted only four balls before he was bowled for nought.

Stewart said: ``It's down to the match referee to decide when he announces the sentence and we have to accept that. We aren't allowed to comment on his decisions. It was all very disappointing for Mark but that's life. He's a professional and has accepted what has happened.''

Ramprakash is the fifth England player to be disciplined by a match referee and the eighth player to receive a match suspension.

The other England players to be punished by an ICC referee are ex-England captain Michael Atherton, who was fined 50 per cent of his match fee, Chris Lewis, Phil Tufnell and most recently Graham Thorpe, who received a warning for dissent in Antigua during the winter.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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Date-stamped : 22 Jun1998 - 11:14