DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, CMC – Sulieman Benn will pay a heavy price for his unwelcomed entry into South Africa’s dressing room during the ill-tempered third Test in his native Barbados last month.
The sport’s World governing body has handed the West Indies left-arm spinner a ban of either one Test, or two One-day Internationals, or two Twenty20 Internationals – whichever comes first – for his irrational behaviour.
It’s the second time that Benn has been banned from international matches for indiscipline. He was sidelined for two ODIs, following an ugly scene with Australians Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson in a Test last December in Perth.
In a hearing with Match Referee Jeff Crowe, Benn admitted to the offence, which the International Cricket Council, under its Code of Conduct, considers is of a serious nature, and “contrary to the spirit of the game.”
The ICC indicated in a media release that the incident took place during the lunch interval on the third day of the Test at Kensington Oval.
Benn apparently entered the South African dressing room uninvited, and provoked some of the opposing players and team management.
“This provocation resulted in a heated exchange of aggressive remarks,” the ICC noted.
Crowe added: “Whatever had gone on before, while helping to explain his behaviour, cannot justify it.”
Crowe was alluding to an earlier on-field incident, when Dale Steyn spat in Benn’s direction. The South Africa fast bowler too, paid dearly for his inappropriate behaviour, when he was fined his full match fee.
“Clearly, Sulieman has acted inappropriately here, and in a way that is contrary to the spirit of cricket,” said Crowe.
“We like the game to be played in a competitive way but, whether on or off the field, players must treat the opposition and the game itself with respect. This did not happen on this occasion and Sulieman has paid the price.”
Crowe said: “Sulieman’s punishment was more severe than it might otherwise have been because this was not his first offence in the past 12 months.”
Because this was Benn’s second breach of this part of the Code of Conduct within a 12-month period, the range of sanctions applicable was more severe than it otherwise would have been.
Benn’s behaviour during the series against the Proteas was less than exemplary. He was also fined his full match fee, after he was sent-off the field by West Indies captain Chris Gayle during the preceding One-day International series for failing to follow instructions.