Cricket extraordinaire Brian Lara said on Sunday that ICC’s decision to fine fast bowler Wahab Riaz following Pakistan’s defeat to Australia on Friday was “uncalled for”, while offering to pay for it himself.
Pakistan’s clash with Australia at the World Cup quarter-final was significant for more than one aspect but it was Riaz’s 30 minute spell with Shane Watson that was the highlight of the match.
“I don’t know what the ICC is thinking. It’s just uncalled for. We need this in a sport that people are running away from, especially 50-over cricket. I loved the exchange,” the former West Indies batsman said.
The bowling ace was fined half of his match fee for mocking the batsman and sending a ‘kiss’ in the air. Conversely, Watson was fined only a meager 15% of his match fee.
Wahab Riaz claps to mock Shane Watson, the former was fined 50 percent of match fee
Wahab was charged with using obscene language, while Watson was accused of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game when the two faced each other.
“The incident happened in the 33rd over of Australia’s innings when Watson ignored the umpires’ instructions and verbally engaged with Wahab, who, at the end of the over, followed through towards the batsman and used aggressive and abusive language,” said an International Cricket Council statement.
“It was above board as far as I’m concerned and I can’t wait to meet him. I want to meet with [this] Riaz guy. I’ll pay the fine,” Lara told NDTV.
“It’s ridiculous what the end result is. We are all entertainers. That to me was one of the highlights of the World Cup. A guy running in bowling at 150km/h plus and Watson looked like he was at school,” he added.
The story was originally published in Canberra Times