Dubai, May 22 (UNI) Dope-tainted speedster Mohammad Asif has received an official reprimand from ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct after dismissing Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene in the second ODI at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Srinath pulled up Pakistan vice-captain Asif for violating the International Cricket Council Code of Conduct (Rule C1), which states that all officials and players must adhere to the spirit of the game.
The former Indian pacer said, ''There is nothing wrong with being fired up as a bowler but Asif's aggressive reaction crossed the line of what is acceptable by showing disrespect to an opponent.'' Taking into account the pacer's prior disciplinary record, Srinath added ''In mitigation, I took into account the fact that Asif's disciplinary record has been pretty good so far in his career and so I chose only to reprimand him.'' Emphasising that cricketers are looked upon as role models, Srinath said, ''It sent out the wrong message to the many people watching the match either at the ground or on television and everyone has to be aware that such behaviour has no place on the cricket field where players must always seek to act as role models.'' The decision was taken in a meeting attended by Asif, Pakistan coach Talat Ali and on-field the match umpires Russell Tiffin, Suresh Shastri and third official Mark Benson yesterday morning.
Asif admitted the charge after viewing footage of the incident in which he postured in an aggressive manner after bowling Jayawardene.
''However, if he is found guilty of a similar misdemeanour in the next 12 months it will automatically become a Level 2 offence.
''I hope this reprimand serves as a warning to ensure that the players conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times,'' Srinath said.
All Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee.
Pakistan pocketed the three-match series by winning the second ODI by 98 runs. The final game will take place tomorrow.