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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Vermeulen ban reduced on appeal
Mark Vermeulen
Vermeulen played his last international in 2004
Former Zimbabwe Test player Mark Vermeulen has succeeded in having a 10-year ban from all first-class and league cricket in England reduced.

He appeared at a disciplinary hearing on Monday after an altercation with a spectator in a Lancashire club match.

And a Lancashire Cricket Board panel agreed to cut the ban to three years, two of them suspended.

Vermeulen, playing for Werneth against Ashton, allegedly threw a ball into the crowd after being barracked by the fan.

In a statement, LCB director Andy Hayhurst, said Vermeulen had accepted his actions were "wholly in violation of the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] Code of Conduct and Spirit of Cricket".

He continued: "In arriving at a decision, the panel recognised the wider circumstances of the case involving Mr Vermeulen.

"However, the panel cannot ignore the seriousness of Mr Vermeulen's actions on that occasion and have imposed a three-year suspension from all cricket under the jurisdiction of the ECB.

"This takes effect from the 1st April, 2007."

Video obtained by the BBC showed Vermeulen, who played the last of eight Tests and 32 one-dayers in 2004, losing his cool and having to be restrained.

His lawyer later issued a statement, saying: "Mark is devastated to find himself in this position and understands that his behaviour at the match in question was far from acceptable.

"Naturally he wishes to offer his heartfelt apologies not just to those who witnessed the incident, but to the league and his team-mates."

Vermeulen has been in trouble with cricket authorities before.

In 1996 he was banned from schools cricket for knocking out his stumps after being given out, and three years ago he was sent home from Zimbabwe's tour of England for leaving the ground without permission after twice being dismissed for a duck during the second Test.

Vermeulen shows his mettle
10 Sep 04 |  Zimbabwe

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