Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc were lucky to get away with fine of 75 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, of their match fees after the unsavoury incident that took place in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium and watched by millions on TV.
At least a one-match suspension for each was expected, considering the magnitude of the incident in which Pollard even hurled the bat at the bowler. It is a different matter that the bat bounced close to the West Indian and not go flying in the Aussie's direction. A similar action in an international game would have invoked a one-match ban.
Considering that this is a franchise-based league, and a lot is at stake, Zimbabwe match referee Andy Pycroft may have taken a lighter stance after holding meetings with the teams concerned and the captains.
But given the past record, especially of Pollard, who was involved in an ugly exchange with Rajasthan Royals' Shane Watson last year, and especially coming from a player whose side has such gentlemen of the game like Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble in the think-tank, a stricter punishment would have sent out a lesson to all those involved in the league to behave themselves and lead by examples.
The Pollard-Starc incident is also an ongoing thing of strained relationships between West Indies and Australian cricketers. Remember James Faulkner speaking out in the open, "I particularly don't like them" during the recent ICC World T20? And, West Indies' captain Darren Sammy dismissing it as "cheap talk"?
Royal Challengers Bangalore were also not involved in such an ugly row for the first time. Last year, rival captains and Delhi and India team-mates, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir of Kolkata Knight Riders were warned and reprimanded for gestures and using offensive language on the field and they were just short of exchanging blows.