John Polack – 30 May 2002

Australian vice captain Adam Gilchrist has received a formal reprimand for weekend comments deemed to have been detrimental to the interests of cricket.

Gilchrist was made aware of his fate at the end of an Australian Cricket Board (ACB) hearing in Sydney this evening. His appearance at the three-and-a-half hour long hearing, before ACB commissioner Alan Sullivan, followed remarks made on Sunday in which he suggested that Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan possessed an illegal bowling action.

Gilchrist escaped the prospect of being either fined or suspended for his actions, instead drawing the lowest punishment among a list of ten possible penalties prescribed under the ACB’s Code of Behaviour.

Under the provisions of the Code, he was not permitted to make any public statement about the decision and duly left the offices of Cricket New South Wales without offering further comment.

ACB Chief Executive, James Sutherland, who participated in the hearing by means of a telephone hookup from Melbourne, meanwhile said that he was satisfied that the case had been handled appropriately.

“As administrators we do not enjoy taking action against our own players, particularly those of Adam’s upstanding nature,” he said.

“The ACB recognises Adam’s outstanding contribution to the image and success of Australian cricket through his conduct, both on and off the field.

“However the Code of Behaviour is in place for a very important reason. Its fundamental purpose is to protect the integrity and credibility of the game of cricket, in this case, particularly in the context of the ACB’s relationship with other countries.”

The ACB’s decision to reprimand Gilchrist followed a Victorian newspaper’s publication of comments about Muralitharan’s action that the world’s number one ranked batsman believed had been made in private at a Carlton Football Club function in Melbourne last Sunday.

Gilchrist has the right to appeal against the imposition of the reprimand at some time within the next 24 hours. In the immediate aftermath of the hearing, it was not expected, however, that he would pursue this course of action.

Source : Cricinfo Ltd