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New Zealand irked by Johnson's light punishment

Posted By: Staff

Wellington, Mar 4 (ANI): The New Zealand cricket team is not commenting publicly over the Styris-Johnson spat, but some members are understood to be irked at the Australian bowler's light punishment.

New Zealand's match winner Scott Styris was fined 15 per cent of his match fee for a level one breach of the International Cricket Council's code of conduct, while Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson was fined 60 per cent after being found guilty of a level two breach.

Both players pleaded guilty to match referee Ranjan Madugalle, who found Styris had contributed to the verbal altercation between the pair in Napier, whilst Johnson had sparked "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play".

The pair bumped shoulders then Johnson appeared to initiate a head clash with Styris, NZ Herald reports.

Johnson was fined 10 per cent of his match fee last December for a level one breach after pushing away fiery West Indies spinner Sulieman Benn during a confrontation with Brad Haddin in Perth.

New Zealand's spokesman, bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, declined to comment on Johnson's penalty but said the home side, 1-0 up in the series, would try to remain on the front foot in the second ODI in Auckland on Saturday.

"We don't want to back down. We don't want to be mouthy, we don't want to be verbally aggressive, that's not what we want to do. But yeah, we are going to stand up for ourselves," said Jurgensen.

Jurgensen admitted surprise that Johnson had lost his cool, but put it down to the tense transtasman rivalry.

It was the second fiery exchange of the tour, after James Franklin and Shane Watson bellowed at each other in the Twenty20 opener in Wellington. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, March 4, 2010, 13:25 [IST]
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