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Edwards, West Indies fined after Twenty20 opener

Fidel Edwards of the West Indies was fined 50 per cent of his match fees for brushing shoulders with South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs.

cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2007 09:54 IST

Fidel Edwards of the West Indies was fined 50 per cent of his match fees for brushing shoulders with South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs, thus breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct during their Twenty20 World Championships match.

The West Indies team was also fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during Tuesday's encounter, the opening match of the tournament in Johannesburg.

Edwards was found guilty of a Level 1 offence by match referee Chris Broad in a hearing that took place in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The player was charged with violating the "spirit of the game" and was found guilty of instigating the clash with South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs during the ninth over of the home side's chase.

Edwards had bowled a bouncer at Gibbs and continued down the pitch after his follow through to retrieve the ball from the wicketkeeper. But he appeared to say something to Gibbs as he passed the batsman and also brushed shoulders with the South African.

Commenting on his decision, match referee Broad said: "There was no question that the bowler was fired up and I have no problem with that. He had just taken a wicket and was desperate to ensure his side got another one as quickly as possible.

"However, the fact remains that cricket is a non-contact sport, a point that has been emphasized by the punishments handed out for two incidents in international cricket in recent times (to James Anderson of England and India's S. Sreesanth).

"The issue was specifically mentioned by the ICC's chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle in his pre-tournament briefing to the managers, captains and coaches of all 12 competing teams here in South Africa and so to have an incident of this type in the first match of the tournament is both unfortunate and unacceptable.

"I hope the fine I have handed down sends a clear message to all players that avoidable contact is not going to be tolerated, and if it happens again the punishment is likely to be more severe."

The hearing was attended by Broad, Edwards, the four match umpires, West Indies team manager Mike Findlay, captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and coach David Moores.

The West Indies team was fined for its slow over-rate after they were found to be two overs short of the target after various time allowances were taken into consideration.

As per the ICC regulations, the players were fined five percent of their match fees for every over short, with the captain being fined double that amount.