England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee and awarded one demerit point for a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the second Test between England and South Africa.
The incident occurred on the last afternoon when South Africa were batting for a draw, and a throw came in from mid-off. Philander leaned back to let the ball through to Buttler behind the stumps, although the batsman was under no legal obligation to move at all.
After 130 overs in the field and a long hot day, English tempers were fraying as the South Africans held out and Buttler gave Philander an earful of invective more associated with Australian cricketers, to the effect that he should move his substantial frame out of the way.
Buttler was found to have breached Article 2.3 of the Code of Conduct, which relates to “use of an audible obscenity.” He admitted the offence so there was no need for a formal hearing by the match referee, Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe.
The penalty and blot on his copybook is unlikely to affect Buttler’s prospects of taking over the one-day captaincy from Eoin Morgan – Buttler is currently vice-captain – but may consolidate Root’s Test captaincy further. The only person that Root loses his temper with is himself, when he gets out.
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