A cricket match in Australia has turned ugly with a batsman shoulder-barging a celebrating bowler, knocking him over and sparking an onfield clash. The incident, which has gone viral online, came just days after cricket’s law-makers, the Marylebone Cricket Club, announced new rules to penalise bad on-field behaviour.
Footage from the incident last weekend shows a paceman for Yackandandah in Victoria state running towards the Eskdale batsman after bowling him out. The celebration wasn’t appreciated with the batsman dropping his shoulder into him, knocking him to the ground. That prompted a fielder to charge at the batsman and push him over with fellow fielders rushing in to break up the melee.
“I understand people are passionate about their sport and where they come from — they look after their hometowns — but this is overstepping the mark, and it’s a big overstep,” chair of the regional Albury Wodonga cricket competition Michael Erdeljac told Win News television. The bowler was slapped with a four-week suspended sentence, while the batsman and fielder were banned until January next year.
The scuffle came in the wake of the MCC last week announcing that umpires would soon be given powers to send players from the field — temporarily or permanently — for a range of on-field discretions including acts of violence. Excessive appealing, showing dissent and intentionally making physical contact are among those offences umpires will be able to penalise under a new Code of Laws which will be issued this year. At the umpires discretion, they will be empowered to issue warnings, award penalty runs and send players from the field for bad behaviour.