Sri Lankan batsman Tharanga Paranavitana has been fined 50 percent of his match fee after being found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct with regard to the Spirit Of Cricket during the second Test against New Zealand in Colombo.
On the final day, Paranavitana claimed a catch at short leg off of Iain O'Brien, immediately celebrating by throwing the ball in the air, running across the pitch and continuing to appeal when the umpires, Nigel Llong and Daryl Harper, were conferring.
Match referee Andy Pycroft handed the player the fine, and said the following in an ICC statement:
"The player’s previous excellent conduct, his apology at the hearing and his excitement at Sri Lanka being on the verge of winning the series are some of the factors that I took into account before downgrading the charge.
“But the fact of the matter is you can’t celebrate by throwing the ball in the air and cross the pitch while continuing to appeal as the umpires are conferring with each other.
“It is not the sort of example that players should be setting at any time, especially given the message his action sends out to the millions of people watching at the ground and on television. Therefore his behaviour merited some form of action.
“Although the maximum punishment for a Level 1 offence is equivalent to minimum penalty for a Level 2 offence, Paranavitana’s record will show him as a Level 1 offender and not a Level 2 offender.
“Although replays showed that the ball hit the ground before it reached Tharanga, I am satisfied that he did not know this at the time and was not attempting to deceive the umpires in that regard.”
Present at a hearing, at which video evidence was used, were Pycroft, Harper, Llong, the player concerned, third umpire Kumar Dharmasena and Sri Lankan team manager Brendon Kuruppu.
© Cricket World 2009