Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood pleaded guilty to dissent over a profanity-laced confrontation with the umpires as Australia closed in on a series sweep over New Zealand and the top Test ranking on Tuesday.
Hazlewood's obscenities were picked up by the stumps microphone as he challenged the umpires after an appeal. He was heard saying, ''Who the f*** is third umpire?' as the Australian team surrounded the umpire and their irate captain Steve Smith questioned the decision.
Hazlewood and Australia's reactions were criticised by several former cricketers.
An Australian team spokesman confirmed that Hazlewood had pleaded guilty to an International Cricket Council charge of dissent.
The fine will be determined later. However, there was no action against Australia captain Steve Smith, whose voice was also heard in the confrontation.
Tempers flared after Hazlewood's appeal for a leg-before decision against Kane Williamson was turned down. The Aussie paceman was heard using an expletive as players angrily converged on the umpires.
The stump microphones at Hagley Oval picked up the obscenity from Hazlewood and others when the Australians rushed on to the pitch and approached umpires Richard Kettleborough and Ranmore Martinesz.
Hazlewood's appeal against Williamson on 88 was rejected by Martinesz in the last over before lunch and third umpire Richard Illingworth, after reviewing a replay, agreed to withhold the decision. Watch the whole incident here:
Australian fast bowler Jackson Bird said the angry reaction was down to frustration after a tough morning in the field in which they failed to take a wicket.
"We bowled pretty well in the first session and we probably thought it was out, but those 50-50 calls either go your way or they don’t. It was probably the frustration of the whole session. We’d bowled pretty well and hadn’t got a wicket and we’d been pretty close a couple of times."
Hazlewood's outburst was taken up by former cricketers with several players criticising on Twitter Australia's aggressive reaction. Here's what they had to say:
The behavior of the Australian players and the language used just now towards the umpire was reprehensible. Nothing less.
— ian bishop (@irbishi) February 22, 2016
— Jason Holder (@Jaseholder98) February 23, 2016
Couple of yellow cards could have been shown there…
— Iain O'Brien (@iainobrien) February 22, 2016
Meanwhile, retired Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson defended Hazlewood and went on to say that stump mics should be turned off.
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) February 23, 2016
Cricket fans on Twitter too had a thing or to say about Hazlewood.
The answer as far as I am concerned is to turn the stump mics up so we hear everything. People behave when be listened to
— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) February 23, 2016
Absolutely disgraceful from Hazlewood. Australian cricketers again showing their class. https://t.co/uMXDZ9VWH5
— Brenden Nel (@BrendenNel) February 23, 2016
Mr Hazlewood, just because you asked. The 3rd umpire is the guy who scored 200 odd runs for you in the first test.
— Benji Crossley (@bopman1) February 22, 2016
Shocking from Hazlewood to abuse the umpire when technology has been used to make a decision-he's only seen it once! #NZvAUS
— The Cricket Prof. (@Thecricprof) February 22, 2016
Disgraceful conduct by Hazlewood and Smith. Match referee has to code them. #NZvAUS - Fantastic decision by Umpire.
— Campbell Barry (@Campbell_Barry) February 22, 2016
Have your say here:
With inputs from AFP