Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Starc was fined 50% of his match fees by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the first Test match between Australia and New Zealand ended on Sunday in Brisbane. Starc was docked half of his match fees for throwing the ball back in the direction of New Zealand batsman Mark Craig, reports cricket.com.au.
Starc was found guilty of violating Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel when he collected the ball that came to him and threw it back in the direction of the batsman.
The Australian bowler completely missed the stumps and threw it towards Craig, who was standing away from the stumps. The resulting throw raced to the boundary for four overthrows. However, the extra runs did not matter much as Australia beat the Kiwis by 208 runs.
Match referee Roshan Mahanama found Starc guilty of breaching the Article 2.2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct which penalises a player ‘throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an International Match.’
Smith expresses disappointment
Starc accepted the fine after admitting to the offence. However, his captain Steve Smith was not impressed with the bowler and rebuked Starc's actions.
“I thought it was pretty disappointing. He's done it a few times and I'm going to have a word to him when I get back down in the sheds. I don't think it was necessary at the time and hopefully he can improve and get better from that,” Smith said in the post-match press conference.
“I don't think he needs to apologise, I just don't think he needs to do it in the future. There wasn't an opportunity for a run-out there and I think it was just a bit of frustration and he needs to let it out in other ways,” Smith said.
New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum seemed to believe that the ball might just have slipped out of his hands and gone close to the Craig instead of the stumps.
“I thought the game was played in really good spirits. The way I looked at it, I hope that he was trying to aim at the stumps. I’m sure we’ll find out once we have a beer in the changeroom anyway,” McCullum said.
Previous Controversies involving Starc
This is not the first time that Starc has been involved in a controversy with regards to throwing the ball back in the direction of the stumps. In Australia's tour of England, Starc's throw back to Ben Stokes led to Stokes’ dismissal in the second ODI at the Lord's.
In the 2014 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Starc – playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore – was involved in an ugly spat with Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard when he threw the ball at Pollard even when the batsman was not ready. Pollard, in response, attempted to throw the bat in the bowler's direction.
Australia will be hoping that Starc can be more civil and maintain his cool in the future, considering he is one of the frontline bowlers for the Aussies. The second Test between Australia and New Zealand is scheduled to begin on November 13 in Perth.
Published 09 Nov 2015, 12:48 IST
"He had three stumps to aim at and he threw it straight at the batsman," Dirk Nannes at the ground as @abcgrandstand expert about Starc— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 9, 2015