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Warwickshire fined over Coleman ball tampering

A Disciplinary Panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission convened at Edgbaston on August 17th 2013 to hear charges against Frederick Coleman and Warwickshire CCC. 

Frederick Coleman pleaded guilty to a charge that during a Second XI Championship match between Warwickshire CCC and Glamorgan CCC at Cardiff CC on 7th – 9th August, he knowingly and deliberately changed the condition of the ball in contravention of Law 42.3(b). 

Warwickshire pleaded guilty to a charge that a player registered to and playing for them knowingly and deliberately changed the condition of the ball in contravention of Law 42.3(b).

Law 42.3 is clear that no artificial substance may be used to change the condition of the ball. Ball tampering is contrary to the laws of the game. It is capable of affecting the fair course of a match and the panel wishes to make clear that any attempt to alter the natural condition of the ball using an artificial substance will be taken very seriously. 

The directive states that any player found guilty of this offence is liable to be suspended. The panel took into account that Mr Coleman pleaded guilty, that he is a young player and that he was allowed to act in this way with the knowledge of his captain.

In light of these circumstances, the panel imposed a two match suspension on him. However, this penalty is suspended for a period of 24 months.

Should Mr Coleman commit any further breach of any ECB Rules, Regulations or Directives during this period, then at the discretion of the Cricket Discipline Commission, this penalty will take effect.

The panel wished to make it clear that the personal circumstances of Mr Coleman were taken into account and that the sanction is not to be seen as setting a precedent in any future cases of this kind. 

A fine of £5000 has been imposed on Warwickshire CCC and the deduction of the points gained in this match. In the panel's view, the club did not provide sufficient discouragement regarding ball tampering, all types of which are clearly inappropriate and in contravention of the laws of the game.

This offence also constitutes a Level 2g breach of the Fixed Penalty system (changing the condition of the ball other than as permitted by Law 42.3) and so Mr Coleman has also received 3 penalty points, which will remain on his record for a period of 2 years.