Banks banned for tampering
Spinner punished for incident in second XI match
Last Updated: 09/07/09 4:30pm
Banks: boredom led to ball tampering
Somerset off-spinner Omari Banks has been banned until July 20 after admitting a charge of ball tampering.
"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."
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Banks, 26, was handed the punishment after appearing before an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary panel on Thursday.
The offence occurred during a second XI fixture between Somerset and Essex at Taunton Vale on July 1.
"The facts were that Omari 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 mid-wicket," read a statement from the ECB Cricket Discipline Commission.
"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 Omari 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."
The statement added: "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 20 July 2009. Such a suspension encompasses three games in which the player was likely to feature.
"In addition, Somerset CCC were fined £500, payable on or before the 30 July 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."