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AFP
November 18, 2019

CA bans Pattinson as bad behavior in limelight again

Sports

AFP
November 18, 2019

SYDNEY: Australia fast bowler James Pattinson was suspended on Sunday for player abuse, ruling him out of the first Test against Pakistan this week with skipper Tim Paine saying he had let down the team.

The paceman was found guilty of breaching Cricket Australia’s code of conduct during Victoria’s Sheffield Shield game against Queensland last week. It was not clear what he said, but the governing body characterised it as “personal abuse of a player while fielding”.

After a period of more than a year in which the Australian team had earned significant respect for improved behaviour, while being lauded by Cricket Australia’s board for making only one ICC code of conduct transgression - an audible obscenity by Adam Zampa during the World Cup - in 18 months since the Newlands scandal, standards have slipped this season with no fewer than eight code of conduct breaches being recorded across state, second XI and under-age tournaments.

Given it was Pattinson’s third breach in the past 18 months, the incident triggered a one-match suspension. The recent breaches in the last Shield round arrived from two of Australia’s most high-profile players, with Steve Smith also revealing that he had apologised to his teammates for a dissent charge and fine.

“We have a duty to uphold the highest standards of behaviour and the action taken in this matter demonstrates that,” CA’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll said in a statement.

Pattinson’s ban opens the door to Mitchell Starc to play in the Test at Brisbane starting Thursday. The two were seen to be competing for one bowling slot to partner Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon.

Paine said he was disappointed, with the Australian team working hard to win back public support since the ball-tampering scandal last year led to long bans for Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

He told broadcaster ABC that Pattinson had “let himself down, he’s let the group down”. “We actually had a chat last night about the fact that we hold ourselves to a really high standard now with our behaviour,” Paine said.

“That’s not just while we’re playing (Test) cricket, we’ve got to go back to domestic cricket and lead the way on that front as well. “We’re disappointed ... but James has owned up and knows he’s made a mistake and has apologised for it and will come back bigger and better.”

The vice-captain Pat Cummins said that he was hopeful Pattinson would learn from events, the second occasion in which he has been suspended from playing a Test match: he also missed the 2013 Mohali Test against India when he was suspended alongside Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson in the “homeworkgate” saga.

“Not ideal, especially over the last couple of years we’ve been pretty clear on our values and what we stand for as a team. Hopefully Patto learns from what he’s done,” Cummins said.

Pattinson admitted he “made a mistake in the heat of the moment”.

“Straight away I realised I was in the wrong, and I apologised immediately, both to the opponent and to the umpires,” he said. “I have done the wrong thing and accept the penalty. I’m gutted to miss a Test match, but the standards are there for a reason and the fault is mine.”

CA said no replacement will be called up for the Test squad. Meanwhile, Smith said that he fronted his team-mates to apologise for drawing a dissent charge and fine in the Sheffield Shield.

Smith was fined 25% of his match fee for obvious dissent when given out caught behind while playing for New South Wales against Western Australia at the SCG.

At one of the team’s recurring “values” meetings, held at the start of every major assignment since Justin Langer was appointed coach, Smith told his team-mates he was sorry for raising the ire of officials and admitted he needed to improve his body language and conduct when dismissed.

“I came in and apologised to the group yesterday for getting a code of conduct,” Smith said in Brisbane. “I don’t think there was a great deal in it but I’ve copped it and I have to look at when I get out and the way I sort of conduct myself. I know lots of kids watch me play and watch all of us play and the way we conduct ourselves when we get out as well as when we’re batting.

“So we have to be very mindful of that and sometimes just bite the bullet and just conduct ourselves in, I guess, a better manner at times. Sometimes your emotions can get the better of you out on the field. We’re playing a game [where] everyone is trying to do their best and sometimes that happens.”

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