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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 14:01 GMT
Langer in the clear
Justin Langer
Langer (rear) leaves the hearing with team manager Steve Bernard
Australia's Justin Langer has been cleared of bringing the game into disrepute after an incident during the third Test in Sri Lanka in Colombo.

They made a hit wicket appeal against batsman Hashan Tillkaratne after one of the bails was spotted on the floor.

It was turned down after TV replays appeared to show Langer knocking it off as he walked past the stumps.

Langer insisted he had "no idea" the bail had fallen off, saying: "I'm glad common sense has prevailed."

He added: "It goes without saying that had I known, I would have picked it up and put it back on straight away."

Langer had been charged under level one, clause two of the International Cricket Council Code of Conduct.

It states that players should not "engage in conduct unbecoming to their status which could bring them or the game into cricket into disrepute".

He could have been fined up to 50% of his match fee if found guilty.

Match referee Chris Broad said Langer had given an "honest and succinct" explanation but had been "reminded" to avoid any such incidents in future.

The incident occurred during the morning session after Tillakaratne played the ball to fine leg and completed a single.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting saw the bail on the ground and appealed, prompting umpires Steve Bucknor and Dave Orchard to refer the matter to TV official Peter Manuel.

There was a lengthy hold-up while he scrutinised footage of the incident and gave Tillakaratne not out.




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