Sabharwall reprimanded as players' behaviour hits a new low

Sabharwall reprimanded as players' behaviour hits a new low

Batsmen questioning the umpires’ decisions repeatedly and taking an eternity to leave the field, and wicket-keepers and fielders charging the umpires in an intimidating fashion have been exacerbated by poor over rates with little regard for completing the overs in the stipulated time, keeping match referees GR Viswanath and Syed Kirmani on their toes.

Several players have been reprimanded, but Rohit Sabharwall, the Mangalore United skipper, earned the dubious distinction of being the first player to be docked match fees after Viswanath found him guilty of a Level I breach of the ICC Code of Conduct in an incident that took place on Monday, and docked him 50 percent of his match fees.

Sabharwall pointed to his bat, engaged in a verbal altercation with umpire BS Jayakumar and lingered around for more than two minutes before eventually trudging off the park after being declared leg before, forcing Viswanath to step in and slap the player with the fine.

Being the captain, Sabharwall ought to set a better example, and hopefully, this decision will come as a deterrent to other players, though on Tuesday, Mysore Maharaajas stumper Nitin Bhille again chose to charge the umpire in an unsuccessful attempt to win a caught behind shout against Deepak Chougule. “I have already reprimanded several players right from day one of the tournament,” Kirmani told Deccan Herald earlier in the afternoon.

“I always played the game in the right spirit and I expect the same of the players too. I speak to teams before every match and tell them that they must play within both the rules and the spirit of the game.”

Kirmani added that he had also reprimanded former Karnataka medium-pacer and junior coach Mansur Ali Khan of Bangalore Brigadiers for arguing with the umpires and demanding a wide during the team’s one-run loss to Belagavi Panthers on Saturday night. “We have also constantly spoken to the umpires about the need to ensure that the teams complete their overs in time,” he added.

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