Johannesburg: The United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) has defended Pakistani referee Naushad Ali and Indian umpire Arani Jayaprakash for their disciplinary hearing decision, which led to hefty fines for South African captain Shaun Pollock and New Zealand all-rounder Craig McMillan. This followed widespread claims that the disciplinary action following an incident during the first Test between the two sides in Bloemfontein on Monday was a "much ado about nothing" situation. Pollock allegedly put his hand on McMillan's shoulder and tapped his helmet. The two were also reported to have sworn at each other.
Although McMillan felt afterwards that it was a minor incident and "part of the game," the referee insisted on the disciplinary action, which led to Pollock and McMillan being fined 50 and 30 percent of their match fees respectively. Pollock was given a stiffer fine because his role as captain was seen as making the offence more serious. Former South African fast bowler Fanie de Villiers described the umpire's decision as "ludicrous," but the UCBSA director of umpiring, Brian Basson, said it was justified because physical contact between players on opposing sides could never be condoned.
Because the match was televised live, he said younger viewers especially might get the wrong impression. The two players could not comment on the ruling, as the code of conduct rules for the players do not allow this. But close sources said the whole incident was forgotten by both of them immediately after it happened. They reportedly joked about it and shared drinks in the change rooms afterwards. India Abroad News Service