Banks banned for ball tampering
A disciplinary panel of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission was convened at Bristol on July 9 2009. Chris Tickle was chairman and the other members were Mike Smith and Alan Moss.
Omari Banks was charged that on Wednesday 1 July 2009, during a Second XI Championship match between Somerset and Essex at Taunton Vale, he knowingly and deliberately changed the condition of the ball in contravention of Law 42.3(b). Banks admitted the charge.
The facts were that Banks used his thumb and fingernails to tamper with the ball when it was returned to him three times in an over when he was fielding at midwicket.
The umpire observed this, already being suspicious as the ball had begun to swing unexpectedly.
Five penalty runs were awarded to Essex and the player was told he would be reported. He said then that it was an isolated incident that Somerset did not condone, and that he deeply regretted, his actions.
He explained during the panel hearing that he did it out of boredom, he knew he should not do it, it was the first time he had done it and that he would not do it again. He did not think the rest of the team noticed.
Brian Rose, Somerset’s director of cricket, who attended the hearing, told the panel that he spoke to Banks and the other players in the club to emphasise that this was a serious matter. He made it very clear that it should not happen again in any form of the club’s cricket.
Directive 3.7 of the ECB makes it plain that ball tampering should be regarded as unfair and improper conduct which is prejudicial to the interests of cricket and likely to bring the game into disrepute.
Having considered the evidence and submissions, and having regard to the blatant nature of the offence, the panel concluded that the cricketer should be suspended from all games within the jurisdiction of ECB from today until the July 20 2009. Such a suspension encompasses three games in which the player was likely to feature.
In addition, Somerset were fined £500, payable on or before July 30, 2009, and the points gained in the match were ordered to be deducted.
These penalties reflected the panel’s view that the club had not taken adequate measures to prevent the offence occurring.
The panel also expressed the view that they would expect the club to write to all the players, strongly reminding them of the law and the seriousness with which any breach is regarded. They would further expect the commission to be provided with a copy of that document.
The panel added that had they been satisfied that other members of the team were aware of, or were complicit in, what occurred, then the penalty imposed upon the club would have been substantially greater.