Dubai, Feb 19, 2012: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been suspended for one match after his side was fined for a second minor over-rate offence within a year during the seventh match of the three-nation series against Australia in Brisbane on Sunday. The India side was ruled to be two overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.
As such, Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed a 40 per cent fine on Dhoni while each of his players received 20-per-cent fines. As this was India’s second minor over-rate offence after it was fined for a slow over-rate in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on 2 April, Dhoni has also been suspended from India’s next game on Tuesday against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.
The offence is contrary to Article 2.5.1 of the Code which relates to over-rate offences and reads: “where the actual over rate in any Test Match or any other International Match of at least four days in duration is up to (and including) five overs short of the Minimum Over Rate, or, in any One Day International Match,Twenty20 International Match or any other International Match of fifty (50) or twenty (20) overs per side up to (and including) two overs short of the Minimum Over Rate, such an offence shall be considered a ‘Minor Over Rate Offence’.”
At its meeting in June 2011 in Hong Kong, the ICC Executive Board had discussed the issue of slow over-rates and accepted the recommendation of the ICC Cricket Committee that a captain of an international side should be suspended for one match if his side is guilty of two minor over-rate offences in the same format over a 12-month period. The charge was laid by on-field umpires Steve Davis and Billy Bowden, both from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, as well as third umpire Bruce Oxenford and fourth umpire Paul Reiffel.
Dhoni pleaded guilty to the charge and the subsequent penalties were accepted both by Dhoni and India. As such there was no need for a formal hearing. Dhoni also acknowledged that he had been kept informed of the position regarding over-rates on a regular basis throughout the match and therefore accepted the decision.