Australian opening batsman Adam Gilchrist has been fined and severely reprimanded after his petulant display in the World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka.
“Player Gilchrist has been told in no uncertain terms that his conduct is unacceptable,” match referee Clive Lloyd said in a statement. “As you know, I normally like to sit on my hands and let the tide of events wash over me – I think the Darren Lehmann saga was a perfect illustration of my approach – but when something as blatant as this comes along, I have no alternative but to act.
“It was clear to every player, every spectator at the ground, and an audience of squillions around the world that umpire Rudi Koertzen – a very eminent umpire, a man fit to be mentioned in the same breath as Venkat and Russell Tiffin – had made an explicit ‘not out’ decision after Gilchrist swept at Aravinda. Caring nothing for the egg he was about to smear over umpire Koertzen’s face, Gilchrist defiantly walked from the wicket.
“It was not just an undermining of the umpire’s authority, in a most humiliating and public manner. It was an explicit contravention of the umpire’s ruling. This sort of disrespect for the official is not in the spirit of the game. If anyone is going to be disrespectful to cricket’s traditions and ethos, it should be the umpires themselves. Why else would Billy Bowden be allowed onto an international ground?”
Gilchrist declined to comment. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said he was angry that Gilchrist had missed out on Man of the Match. Lehmann made an unfortunate remark about the pigmentation of his opponents, and Tony Greig observed that most of the Sri Lankan players are really very small indeed.