Mohammad Asif has received an official reprimand from Javagal Srinath, the match referee, for violating the ICC Code of Conduct. The censure relates to Asif's reaction after dismissing Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, in the second ODI of the three-match series in Abu Dhabi. Asif was found guilty of breaching Rule C1 of the ICC Code which states that all players and officials must conduct play within the spirit of the game.
"It sent out the wrong message to the many people watching the match either at the ground or on television and everyone has to be aware that such behaviour has no place on the cricket field where players must always seek to act as role models," Srinath said.
"There is nothing wrong with being fired up as a bowler but Asif's aggressive reaction crossed the line of what is acceptable by showing disrespect to an opponent," Srinath said. He added that Asif's prior disciplinary record had saved him from a higher penalty. If Asif is found guilty of the same offence within the next 12 months, the penalty will become a Level 2 offence.
Srinath said that he reached his conclusion after a hearing on Monday morning. The meeting was attended by Asif, Pakistan coach Talat Ali and the match officials. The charge was laid by Russell Tiffin and Suresh Shastri, the on-field umpires. Asif, who was appointed vice-captain for the series, admitted to the charge after viewing footage of the incident.
The minimum penalty for a Level 1 offence is a reprimand and the maximum penalty is a fine amounting to 50% of the player's match fee. The match referee's decision regarding Level 1 offences cannot be contested.