Match referee, ECB ignore Hussain~~s emotional gesture

Published: Monday, July 15, 2002, 17:37 [IST]
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London: English cricket bosses insisted Sunday no disciplinary action would be taken against captain Nasser Hussain following his emotional reaction after making a maiden One-day International century.

Hussain's 115 in Saturday's triangular series final defeat by India at Lord's was his first hundred in 72 One-day Internationals After reaching three figures Hussain turned towards the media centre at Lord's, held up three fingers and pointed to the number three on his back with some reports suggesting he also mouthed an obscenity. Hussain's gestures were in response to recent English media suggestions - notably from former England players Jonathan Agnew, Ian Botham and Bob Willis - that the Essex batsman's scoring rate was too slow for One-day International cricket and more aggressive players should bat at number three. Match referee and former South Africa all-rounder Mike Procter decided not to take any action against Hussain after witnessing the incident even though the International Cricket Council's (ICC) code of conduct states: "Players shall at no time engage in conduct unbecoming to their status, which could bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute." Nevertheless England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tim Lamb said he would be following Procter's example and would not reprimand Hussain. "I would describe it more as a gesture of defiance rather than insulting," Lamb explained. "If he had waved two fingers then that would have been a different matter, but he was just being defiant. "We need a bit of passion in the game and he's a passionate person and it's his passion that is one of his great strengths and as far as I'm concerned it was nothing more than that." Hussain himself said, "It wasn't aimed at the media in general, who've been very fair to me. "I'm sure most people don't give a monkeys but there have been one or two gentlemen who've been permanently on my case about this batting position, putting me under pressure. "I suppose I'm old enough and ugly enough to take it, but they have laboured it. I was gesturing with my body that I bat at number three and I felt I'd proved a point on the biggest of stages."

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