Nathan Lyon fined by ICC for dropping ball on AB de Villiers

The sequen

The sequence of events

What's the story?

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has fined Australian spinner Nathan Lyon 15 % of his match fees for 'dropping the ball' on South Africa's AB de Villiers after the latter's dismissal during the first game of the ongoing Test series. He has also been awarded one demerit point.

In case you didn't know...

The incident occurred on the last ball of the 12th over, during South Africa's chase of 417, with De Villiers and Aiden Markram at the crease.

Markram turned the delivery to the leg side, but turned his back on the non-striker, refusing a single. As the ball reached David Warner, De Villiers turned around and tried to make his way to safety, but his full-stretched dive couldn't beat Warner's throw to Lyon at the bowler's end.

As De Villiers lay on the ground, Lyon, who had dismantled the stumps, dropped the ball on the South African, and left off to celebrate.

The heart of the matter

After being reviewed by Jeff Crowe, the match referee, Lyon was charged with a Level 1 offence, and is expected to be fined a part of his match fees. The Australian has accepted the charges and has also apologised to AB de Villiers for the same.

The incident stayed in the background as another, this time off the pitch, involved a fiery exchange of words between David Warner and Quinton de Kock in the stairwell of the stadium. Both teams have acknowledged the incident and are waiting for a verdict from the match referee before commenting further.

What's next?

Lyon was expectedly fined for his act, but the real focus will now be on the Warner-De Kock clash and the match referee's verdict on the same, especially with the first Test already having been concluded.

Author's take

While the act from Lyon seemed harmless and didn't possibly intend to cause any disrespect, the action of dropping the ball on a fallen AB de Villiers could have been completely avoided.

It seems to have happened in heat of the moment from Lyon, who would have been ecstatic with the Australians felling De Villiers for a duck, but the off-spinner seemed to have forgotten that each move of the cricketers is scrutinized carefully, and any deviation from the 'spirit of the game' is met with frowned eyebrows.

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Edited by Aadya Sharma
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