Nazir found not guilty of using obscene language

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Pakistan batsman Imran Nazir escaped a fine after being found not guilty of using obscene language during his heated exchange with South African pacer Andre Nel in the second ODI between the two sides in Durban.

Nazir was charged by the South Africa team management with a Level 1 offence, clause 1.4, which refers to ''Using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture.'' The incident took place when Nazir and Nel had an animated exchange during the Pakistan innings of the match. The visitors went on to register a huge win to level the series 1-1.

Match referee Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel convened a hearing the day after the match in question, following the arrival of both teams in Port Elizabeth, and, after giving the matter further consideration overnight, arrived at his not guilty verdict on Friday.

Explaining his decision, Mr Broad said, ''There was no doubt that some strong language was used on the field but I felt it was important to take into account the context in which it took place.''

''I formed the view it was a passing remark between two players in the heat of a match and on that basis I decided it did not require action from me. Players must be aware that they cannot go around abusing each other right, left and centre and expect to avoid punishment and if that type and level of abuse is reported and the player is found guilty then I will take firm action,'' he added.

The hearing was attended by Nazir, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq and team manager Talat Ali, together with umpire Steve Bucknor, South Africa team manager Goolam Raja and South Africa players Andre Nel, Justin Kemp and Mark Boucher.

Mr Broad also said he spoke to the captains and team managers of both sides before the start of yesterday's washed-out ODI in Port Elizabeth as he noticed ''rising tensions among the two sets of players over the course of the Test and ODI series.''

''I believe my message was understood and I look forward to seeing the remainder of matches in this series played in the best traditions of top level cricket, hard but fair,'' he said.


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