Proteas opener Dean Elgar has been reprimanded after pleading guilty to a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the fourth day’s play in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in Harare on Tuesday.
Elgar was found to have breached Article 2.1.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to ‘Abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an International Match.’
The charge related to the incident in the 10th over of South Africa’s second innings, when Elgar, after being bowled, hit a stump with his bat in frustration at getting out.
The charge was brought by on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Chris Gaffaney, third umpire Jeremiah Matibiri and fourth umpire Owen Chirombe.
The batsman admitted to the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Roshan Mahanama of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. As such, there was no need for a formal hearing. All Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50% of a player’s match fee.
Elgar’s reprimand lies on the bottom end of that scale – his admission of guilt would have been the reason for imposing the lowest punishment.
This incident is the latest in a string of ICC Code of Conduct offences levelled at the Proteas. Last year, Faf du Plessis was fined for wearing the wrong coloured shoelaces, while there have been two separate incidences where Proteas players have been found guilty of ball-tampering.
The first charge was levelled at Du Plessis, who was found to have rubbed the ball on his pants zipper against Pakistan in Dubai last October. He was fined 50% of his match fee.
Then, more recently, Vernon Philander was fined 75% of his match fee for altering the condition of the ball with his thumb during the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle last month.
Elgar’s charge is minor in comparison, but it is clear umpires and match referees are clamping down on Code of Conduct offences, and the Proteas will want to make sure they do not gain a reputation for their violations, no matter how small they may be.
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