West Indies spinner Sulieman Benn has been suspended for barging into South African dressing room and entering a verbal altercation with the players during the lunch break of the third Test match in Barbados.
Benn has been pleaded guilty to a Level 2 breach of the ICC code after admitting to behaviour that was contrary to clause 2.2.11 (a) relating to conduct of a serious nature that is “contrary to the spirit of the game.”
ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe ordered the imposition of two suspension points, which amounts to a ban of one Test match or two ODIs or two T20Is, whichever comes first for the player.
The incident took place during the lunch interval on the third day of the Test when Benn inappropriately and without invitation entered the South Africa team dressing room in Kensington Oval and provoked some South Africa players and team management, which resulted in a heated exchange of aggressive remarks.
“Whatever had gone on before Sulieman entered the Proteas’ dressingroom, while helping to explain his behaviour, cannot justify it,” said Crowe, alluding to an earlier on-field spat involving South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn.
In the same match, Steyn was fined 100 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of spitting in the direction of Benn.
“Clearly, Sulieman has acted inappropriately here and in a way that is contrary to the spirit of cricket. We like the game to be played in a competitive way but, whether on or off the field, players must treat the opposition and the game itself with respect. That did not happen on this occasion and Sulieman has paid the price,” said Crowe.
Because this was Benn’s second breach of this clause of the code within a 12-month period, the range of sanctions applicable was more severe than it otherwise would have been, namely between two and eight suspension points.
“Sulieman’s punishment was more severe than it might otherwise have been because this was not his first offence in the past 12 months,” added Crowe.