Mark Vermeulen~~s ban reduced to three years

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Former Zimbabwe Test player Mark Vermeulen, initially slapped with a 10-year ban from first-class and league cricket in England for hurling a ball at the barracking crowd, got some respite as Lancashire Cricket Board reduced his punishment to three years.

The volatile cricketer attended a disciplinary hearing yesterday after throwing a ball at the hostile crowd even though it did not hurt anyone and rebounded off the railing.

The Times quoted Vermeulen's lawyer, Andrew Fitch-Holland, as saying that people should consider Vermeulen's World Cup hopes.

''We will be appealing against this decision later this week,'' Fitch-Holland added.

Later he issued a statement, saying, ''Mark is devastated to find himself in this position and understands that his behaviour at the match in question was far from acceptable.

''Naturally he wishes to offer his heartfelt apologies not just to those who witnessed the incident, but to the league and his team-mates,'' he added.

Vermeulen has had a poor track-record and he was banned in his school days for knocking out stumps and was also sent home from Zimbabwe's tour of England for leaving the ground without team management's permission.

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