Ramdin episode reveals double standards

Ramdin episode reveals double standards

West Indies decided against appealing the two-match suspension of Denesh Ramdin for breach of the ICC Code of Conduct looking at the futility of such an exercise but Match Referee Chris Broad’s action brought back into focus the different yardsticks applied to players from different countries to hand over the punishment.

“We have decided not to appeal the suspension of Ramdin and which means he will miss today’s match (against India) and the next one against South Africa on Friday in Cardiff,” announced the West Indies manager Philip Spooner on Tuesday. “As far as we are concerned the matter is finished,” he added.

Clearly, West Indies can’t be happy with match referee’s conclusion that Ramdin was guilty of claiming a catch off Misbah-ul-Haq that he didn’t properly collect during their match against Pakistan here last Friday.

Ramdin was charged with a Level 2 offence to which the wicketkeeper pleaded not guilty. Subsequently, a full hearing was held on Monday when Ramdin was found guilty of violating “Article 2.2.11of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel (the Code) which relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.”

If one were to observe the replays, it’s clear that Ramdin was convinced that he had control of the ball for long enough to deem the batsman was out. That the Trinidadian didn’t hold the ball in his gloves for long enough is a different matter but what was evident that he believed he had a good reason to think that the catch was completed.

And the adjudicators should have taken that factor into account while delivering the quantum of sentence.

If the match referees across the board were to exercise same adherence to laws of the game then Jonathan Trott would have copped similar punishment for claiming a catch off Virat Kohli during the Ahmedabad Test last year. Trott was standing in slips when Kohli’s cut off Graeme Swann hit his forearm.

He then dived backward in an attempt to complete the take but dropped and rolled over the ball before claiming the catch. There was no way Trott wouldn’t have known that he had dropped the ball. If this was not against the spirit of the game and then nothing else should be.  

Match referee Roshan Mahanama, however, didn’t think Trott’s action deserved even an official reprimand. Nor did umpires Aleem Dar and Tony Hill deem it fit enough to charge the fielder for potential breach of code of conduct.

Trott’s wasn’t an isolated incident. There’s a strong discontent that players from the sub-continent get little leeway when it comes to on-field behaviour. In this tournament itself, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan were warned for excessive appealing during their match against New Zealand.

It’s not to say that the Lankans shouldn’t have been reprimanded but when the laws are same their application should also be uniform.

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