Shane Warne has been fined A$4,500 ($4,700) and banned for one game after a heated row with Marlon Samuels in a match in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition on Sunday night ended up with bats and balls being thrown.
The West Indies all-rounder and former Australia Test spinner had a heated verbal altercation before Warne threw the ball and hit Samuels on the arm, accidentally he later claimed. Samuels reacted by throwing his bat down the wicket in the general direction of Warne and the umpires were forced to step in to restore order. Cricket Australia (CA) found Warne guilty of three offences but not guilty of a breach of the rule that forbids throwing "the ball at or near a player or official in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner".
"I'm disappointed with some of my actions last night but I'm also disappointed at the severity of the penalties," Warne told reporters. "I think that was pretty harsh." Warne was found guilty of showing dissent to the umpire, engaging in physical contact with other players and using offensive language. Samuels, who has been charged with two offences, ended up on the winning side as the Melbourne Renegades beat the Melbourne Stars to clinch a home semi-final in the Big Bash league in front of a record crowd of 46,681 at the MCG.
His evening came to a painful end, however, when he top-edged a Lasith Malinga bouncer into his own face and left the field with a suspected fractured eye socket. Samuels has been the subject of controversy in the competition already this season when Darren Lehmann, coach of the Brisbane Heat, questioned the legality of his bowling action. Warne's team mate Cameron White was also found guilty of dissent at an umpire's decision, while the case against Samuels will be heard when he is able to attend a hearing. ($1 = 0.9566 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney)