South Africa vs England, 2019-20: Jos Buttler fined for his verbal abuse at Vernon Philander
England international and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler has been docked 15% of his match fees and handed one demerit point for his foul-mouthed sledge at Vernon Philander. The incident took place during the second Test against the Proteas at Newlands. The stump microphone caught Buttler calling Philander a "f***ing knobhead" after the batsman stood his ground instead of getting out of the way of a sharp throw from Joe Root at mid-off. Buttler seemed furious and continued with verbal abuse that didn’t please many. But some of have come out and brushed it off, such as former England middle-order batsman, Kevin Pietersen.
Incidentally, Sky Sports apologised on-air for Buttler’s antics. The wicket-keeper was found guilty of breaching Article 2.3 (Use of an audible obscenity) of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel. He could have been in far deeper trouble had he been booked under Article 2.13 (Personal abuse of a player).
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An official ICC statement read “Buttler admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.”
Buttler was earlier handed one demerit point and an official reprimand in 2016 following his verbal dual with Mashrafe Mortaza and Sabbir Rahman. It will have no impact on the latest development as the offence was committed more than 24 months ago. An athelete can be suspended if he collects 4 demerit points in a span of 2 years.
Though, the visitors won the game by 189 runs, there was no dearth of drama as hosts South Africa batted for more than 130 overs in pursuit of a daunting target of 438. The England players looked visibly frustrated at one point as the hosts kept digging in. It took Ben Stokes a stellar spell to hand his side a win and level the series 1-1. Stokes bagged figures of 3/1 in 4.4 overs in the final session of the day’s play. The third match of the 4-match series begins on 16 January in Port Elizabeth.