Melbourne Stars captain Shane Warne was fined $5000 on Monday for breaching the spirit of cricket – then immediately claimed it wasn’t his fault.
And in an ugly end to what’s likely to be his final BBL season, Warne hit out at Cricket Australia (CA) for the second time this month and said he was disappointed with their decision.
A disciplinary hearing found the legspin great should be fined for naming teammate James Faulkner as the Stars’ official captain for their semi-final defeat by Perth Scorchers at the WACA on January 16.
Warne was under threat of suspension if he allowed another slow over rate as captain and wanted to guard against missing the final, had his team won.
This was deemed “against the spirit of cricket” by CA which had had issued all BBL teams with a memo last month stating: “If a team’s official captain is selected but not named as captain this … may attract a code of behaviour charge.”
Warne said the team’s management was at fault, not him.
“I had know idea about the rule/law…,” Warne said on Twitter.
“If I was aware of the law/rule I would have tossed the coin, I should have been informed & made aware by management
“Anyway, Disappointed it was not a stars fine rather than me as I was never informed as I said… Glad u all understand now !! Enjoy”
The 43-year-old Warne did not attend CA’s Melbourne headquarters for the teleconference hearing which convened in Perth.
He was represented by Melbourne Stars team manager Ben Robertson and CEO Clint Cooper who said later: “The Melbourne Stars and Shane Warne have accepted the fine.
“We equally shoulder the responsibility of the breach given the miscommunication between team management and Shane Warne; key parties involved in the incident were unaware of the memo.”
The veteran bowler claimed only four wickets at an average of 39.75 this season but was frequently in the headlines for less savoury reasons.
He was suspended for one match after a shirt-grabbing incident with Melbourne Renegades batsman Marlon Samuels on January 6, during which a miked-up Warne said to Samuels “F**k you, Marlon!”.
Warne was also fined $4500 after being found guilty on three of four charges stemming from the derby clash.
At a separate hearing on Monday, Samuels was found guilty of unbecoming behaviour in relation to the shirt incident but only received an official reprimand from CA as it was acknowledged that “the player’s conduct resulted from extreme provocation”.
The other charge against Samuels of engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact, relating to the Jamaican grabbing the shirt of David Hussey as he turned for a second run, was dismissed.
Samuels’ hearing was delayed because of a facial injury suffered only a few overs after the clash with Warne when he was hit by a Lasith Malinga bouncer.
Adelaide Strikers coach Darren Berry also faced a charge of unbecoming behaviour following a verbal exchange with Samuels during the warm-up of another BBL match, but he escaped any punishment.