India's B K Venkatesh Prasad paid dearly for becoming a bit melodramatic after having netted a big fish, so to say. Monday, the second day of the Melbourne Test, brought mixed fortunes for this lanky paceman.
Venkatesh Prasad got rid of Michael Slater and Steve Waugh in successive overs to reduce Australia to 197 for five from 192 for 3. Bowlers jumping for joy after a success is not at all a strange act in modern cricket. But what Venkatesh Prasad did after having dismissed Slater (91) was quite odd and impulsive in nature. Facing the defeated batsman, Venkatesh Prasad pumped his fists vigorously.
Slater just looked at him helplessly and, more importantly, did not react at all. Umpire David Shepherd was seen speaking to Venkatesh Prasad and the bowler seemed to have explained to him that it was only an act of instinct. Later, Slater too said that he did not bother much and that the bowler had apologised to him after the day's play. Many would have thought that the matter would end at that.
But the ICC Code of Conduct for players and team officials did not think so. Venkatesh Prasad was punished. He had to pay 35 per cent of his match fee and had to skip a Test match or two ODIs during the next four months. Venkatesh Prasad, known as a gentle giant, has done a similar act only once before in his six-year international career.