Benaud dismisses Gibbs appeal
25 Jan 2007
By: Zac Gelman
ICC representative Richie Benaud has dismissed an appeal lodged by Herschelle Gibbs against a two match ban he received for derogatory comments directed at Pakistani members of the crowd in a recent Test match in South Africa.
"On the question of procedural matters, I am satisfied that Chris Broad handled those in straightforward fashion, that no justice was denied, the player admitted using the words and unfortunately they went to the world. My view is that the sentence imposed by Broad is correct and accordingly the appeal is dismissed," Benaud wrote in his finding.
Benaud said that although he did not consider Gibbs a racist, the batsman should have been mindful of the microphone, with the knowledge that such comments would be heard publicly causing great offence to many.
"It was put to me that the fact the remarks in question were heard through stump microphones on the ground should invalidate the whole matter,"
"With the benefit of some experience I am able to add that players, no matter where they may be, should always bear in mind that a microphone could be live.
"If you do not use the words, they do not get to air.
"The player admitted using the words and unfortunately they went to the world.
"At Chris Broad's hearing (Pakistan manager) Talat Ali spoke about the offence the words used by Herschelle would give to the whole Pakistan nation. I am not surprised.
"However, as an Appeals Commissioner and a person, I certainly do not consider Herschelle to be a racist and I take great exception to the suggestion."
Gibbs ban was slightly altered though, instead of being suspended for two test matches, he was banned from one Test, one one-day game and one Twenty20, meaning he will miss the third Test against Pakistan, the opening ODI of the upcoming five match series and the one off Twenty20 match on February 2nd.
Gibbs was originally found guilty of breaching the code of conduct which prohibits using "...any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin."
Benaud's decision is final and cannot be appealed.
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