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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 06:29 GMT
Dravid fined for ball-tampering
TV pictures show Dravid wiping the ball
Dravid was seen on TV using a lozenge on the ball
India vice-captain Rahul Dravid has been fined 50% of his match fee for ball-tampering during Tuesday's victory over Zimbabwe in Brisbane.

Match referee Clive Lloyd charged Dravid under clause 2.10 of the ICC code of conduct.

Third umpire Peter Parker is believed to have stepped in after cameras picked up fielder Dravid rubbing a cough lozenge on to the white ball.

India won the match by 24 runs, Dravid top-scoring with 84 in India's 255-6.

In the Laws of Cricket, law 42.3 allows fielders to polish the ball as long as "no artificial substance is used".

It was just an accident
India captain Sourav Ganguly
The maximum penalty for such an offence is a two-match ban.

India coach John Wright later insisted Dravid had made "an innocent mistake".

Wright said Dravid unwittingly shone the ball with fragments of an energy candy he was chewing after it had stuck to his finger.

"It was an innocent mistake," Wright said. "He was applying saliva to the ball and what happened was the saliva was colored with that sweet.

"He wiped it off because he knew immediately that it was only supposed to be saliva or perspiration.

'Silly thing'

"Rahul knew it straight away and that's why you could see he tried to wipe it clean.

"It's a silly thing but that's exactly how it happened."

India captain Sourav Ganguly endorsed Wright's comments, maintaining the incident was "just an accident."

Dravid, who normally keeps wicket in one-day cricket, was in the outfield for this match as specialist keeper Parthiv Patel joined the team.

Team-mate Sachin Tendulkar was fined after a similar televised incident in 2001, provoking an outcry which led to the Indian board demanding the removal of match referee Mike Denness.

South Africa eventually agreed to their request, which led to the ICC refusing to sanction the Test match which followed.




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