Dolphins batsman found guilty

2008-10-27 00:00

THE Dolphins suffered a blow ahead of their SuperSport Series match against the Eastern Cape Warriors beginning at Kingsmead on Thursday when middle-order batsman HD Ackerman was suspended for two games yesterday.

A disciplinary hearing in Johannesburg found Ackerman and the Western Cape Cobras’ Vernon Philander guilty of contravening clauses 1.3 and 1.4 of Cricket South Africa’s rules and code of conduct.

The clauses state that participants shall not verbally abuse or intimidate any other participant and shall not use crude or abusive language nor make offensive gestures to any other participant.

The incident took place during the SS Series match in Paarl two weeks ago and was reported by umpires Brian Jerling, Shaun George and Earl Hendrikse to match referee Enver Mall, the former KZN Dolphins CEO.

There was no finding of racism between the two players arising from the incident.

A senior cricket official said he felt the issue had not been managed well and the sanction was unduly harsh.

The gist of the story is that Ackerman lost his wicket in the last over on the first day and while he was walking back to the pavilion, Philander allegedly said something to him.

“HD said nothing at the time, walked off the field and changed,” the official said.

“He went back on the field as the Cobras players were winding down and asked Philander why he had made the remark. Unlike Kingsmead, the umpires’ dressing room at Boland Park is close to the field and the officials heard the exchange, which became heated at times,” the cricket official said.

“The two players and the captains sorted it out afterwards and there were apologies all round, plus they apologised to the umpires, but the match referee wouldn’t hear of it, saying he had already reported the matter.

“These sorts of verbal volleys happen in cricket and reporting it is a petty act by a match referee and gives justification to the contention that match referees are only too willing to cite players as justification for their existence.”

Ackerman has been suspended from the Warriors match and the Free State Eagles match at Kingsmead the following weekend, while Philander will miss this week’s clash with the Highveld Lions in Paarl and next week’s SS Series match against the Warriors at the same venue.

Both players are entitled to appeal against the ruling within 48 hours, which means they could still play for their teams this weekend at least.

The Dolphins side to meet the Warriors remains the same, with the addition of Johann Louw, who was attending his brother’s wedding during the Cobras match.

Should Ackerman miss the next two games, he will have missed three out of five, having been best man at his best friend’s wedding during the Lions match in Durban.

Dolphins convenor of selectors Jay Naidoo told The Witness he will talk to Ackerman today to see if he feels there is a reasonable chance of appealing the decision; otherwise the panel will name another batsman to replace him.

None of the Proteas-contracted players are available as they are at a national camp in Kimberley, which takes Hashim Amla out of the equation for the Dolphins.

Dolphins: Imraan Khan (vice-capt), Rivash Gobind, David Miller, Ahmed Amla (capt), HD Ackerman, Jon Kent, Pierre de Bruyn, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Ugasen Govender, Yusuf Abdullah, Saidi Mhlongo.

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