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Veeru is fined, yet again

As usual, Virendra Sehwag has been cautioned, admonished and now, even punished. I do not even want to talk about the sheer ridiculousnessss of it all. But something stinks. Big time.

First he gets punished for appealing excessively, in an era where Shane Warne had already mentioned in his writings about he has extended Steve Waugh's vaunted mental disintegration tactics to the umpires.

Then he is admonished for saying that Sourav Ganguly did a great job as captain and that he misses him.

And now, he has been fined for running towards his team mates after claiming a wicket without turning towards the umpire first.

I saw the highlights of the England vs Sri Lanks test last night and Monty Panesar's third wicket was a faint nick to the keeper. Monty hardly appealed and just walked towards the keeper. He was not fined, last I heard.

And for those who might protest that it could depend on how strict the match referee in question is, consider this. In the same match, the great Brian Charles Lara snatches, yes snatches, the ball away from the umpire in frustration after the three umpires have not been able to decide whether MS Dhoni was out caught or not. Mind you, even the fielder himself was not sure whether he had taken a clean catch or not. But yet, Lara got visibly irritated and ended up wagging his finger at the umpires and then snatched the ball away from Asad Rauf.

You can pardon the match referee for overlooking something that might have happened in an split second on the field. But this was happening when the play had been held up for more than 10 minutes and everybody was wondering what was going on. Surely an umpire sharp enough to realise that Sehwag had forgotten to turn towards the umpire during the appeal would have noticed this blatant violation of the much vaunted Spirit of Cricket. And yet, he chose to keep mum.

Siddarth Vaidyanathan, of Cricinfo.com has the most lucid and hard hitting take on it.

Secondly, and this is vital, what sort of spirit allows the captain of a side to snatch the ball from an umpire's hand? What sort of spirit allows him to wag a finger at the umpire? The irony is that the ICC penalises the captain twice as much as the players in cases of slow over-rate, but has allowed Lara to get away with this. Had the match been more delicately poised, Dhoni would probably not have walked at all. But again, one can only analyse events that happened. It is reliably learnt that Dhoni eventually walked off the field, not because he agreed with the decision, but because he felt that he shouldn't create a fuss when a great player like Lara is taking such a strong stand. Here is a batsman, who might not have been out, who might well have deserved the benefit of the doubt, deciding to go off because of the stature of the opponent. Now you decide which part of the whole issue was ridiculous.

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