Australian spin legend and Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne will have his swansong at the Wankhede against Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians but only after being slapped with a $50,000 fine for publicly criticising an official of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA).
The Indian Premier League (IPL) said on Wednesday that a two-member disciplinary commission, comprising IPL chairman Chirayu Amin and former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri, after listening to arguments put forward by RCA secretary Sanjay Dixit and Warne on Tuesday, decided to impose the fine on the champion leg spinner.
It was learnt that the RCA secretary Dixit was pushing for a one-match ban for Warne. If the commission had imposed the ban it would have meant that Warne wouldn’t have been able to play his last IPL game. The leg spinner had announced earlier this month that IPL IV would be his last season and though the Royals are out of the race to make it to the playoffs, there has been anticipation about the Warne vs Tendulkar clash at the Wankhede Stadium.
The commission’s decision will ensure that the match on Friday will provide an interesting match-up between two legends of the game. “The commission regards the public criticism of Mr Dixit as being a serious breach by Mr Warne of his IPL playing contract,” the commission said in a statement.
Warne, after getting upset about the nature of the pitch used during the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 11, had criticised Dixit. Bangalore had beated Rajasthan by five wickets in that game. The RCA had complained to the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the IPL that Warne had abused Dixit after the match. The RCA secretary and Warne also took potshots at each other on Twitter. The commission noted Warne had apologised to Dixit and said it had considered the spin bowling great’s contribution to the game of cricket in general, and to the Indian Premier League.