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Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Monday, 27 December 2010

Ashes: Ricky Ponting fined by ICC after on-field row

Fourth Ashes Test: Australia 98 v England 444-5 (stumps, day two)
Venue: Melbourne Dates: 26-30 December Start time: 2330 GMT each day
Coverage: Live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW & online; TMS highlights online (UK only) and day's review on the TMS podcast; live text on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4

Aleem Dar and Ricky Ponting
Ponting drew boos from the MCG crowd for remonstrating with Umpire Dar

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 40% of his match fee after an ugly row with umpire Aleem Dar on day two of the fourth Ashes Test.

Ponting spent more than a minute remonstrating with Dar after an unsuccessful review of a not out decision against Kevin Pietersen.

Ponting also exchanged words with Pietersen and umpire Tony Hill.

In a statement, the International Cricket Council said Ponting pleaded guilty to a Level 1 offence.

Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct relates to "arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision".

And with Ponting having pleaded guilty, match referee Ranjan Madugalle passed down his judgement without recourse to a full hearing.

Madugalle said: "Ricky's actions as captain of his country were unacceptable. A captain is expected to set the example and not get involved in a prolonged discussion with the on-field umpires and question their decision.

"While pleading guilty to the charge, Ricky understood that the discussion went far too long. He apologised for his action and stated that he has nothing but respect for the umpires and his on-field actions were not intended to show disrespect to Aleem Dar or Tony Hill."

However, Ponting can consider himself lucky he was not charged with a Level 2 offence, which refers to "dissent [which] contains an element of anger or abuse which is directed at the umpire or the umpire's decision or where there is excessive delay in resuming play [or] there is persistent re-reference to the incident over time". A Level 2 offence can lead to a 100% fine and/or a suspension.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin had launched a loud but lone appeal for caught behind, convinced Pietersen, who was on 49, had nicked the ball from seamer Ryan Harris.

Tom Fordyce Blog
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell

A video review revealed no 'hot spot' where the ball passed Pietersen's bat but a furious Ponting, who was joined by finger-jabbing seamer Peter Siddle, argued long and hard with Dar, prompting jeers from sections of the Melbourne crowd.

Pakistani Dar, widely regarded as one of the best umpires in world cricket, later called on the technology at his disposal to save England's Matt Prior after he was caught behind.

Prior, who was on five, walked but was called back to the crease as Dar consulted the third umpire, whose review of the footage showed bowler Mitchell Johnson had delivered a no ball.

Pietersen made only two more runs after the first appeal before falling lbw to the fired-up Siddle but Prior went on to form a formidable partnership with Jonathan Trott as England finished the day on 444-5, 346 ahead of the hosts.

Siddle declined to comment on the incident, saying "it's just cricket", while Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland was reluctant to pass judgement on Ponting's behaviour.

However, former Australia skipper Ian Chappell, commentating for Test Match Special before the verdict was announced, suggested Ponting should have been suspended.

Chappell said: "You can't start arguing with umpires over a judgement call, and he then started saying something to Pietersen.

"I know if I'd have been Pietersen what I would have told him to do, go and jump in the lake, because it's none of his business.

Gatting sympathises with fined Ponting

"If the ICC are being serious they've got to do something about it because it's not the first time I've seen him arguing with umpires over judgement calls and you can't keep on allowing captains to do that.

"I would have thought a suspension would be in order because it went on for so long and he went to both umpires."

Ponting voiced his frustration over video referrals during the first Test in Brisbane, when England opener Alastair Cook refused to walk after Ponting took what he claimed was a fair catch low to the ground.

The Australia skipper's "catch", when Cook was on 209, was referred to the third umpire but television replays were inconclusive and the English opener went on to make an unbeaten 235.

Ponting said the referral of disputed catches to inadequate technology was a "blight on the game".

Listen to commentary highlights from the second day of the fourth Test (UK users only)

TMS podcast: Agnew and Boycott's review (available worldwide)

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see also
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