NEW DELHI - Cricket extraordinaire Brian Lara said on Sunday that ICC’s decision to fine fast bowler Wahab Riaz following Pakistan’s defeat to Australia on Friday was “uncalled for”, while offering to pay for it himself. Pakistan’s clash with Australia at the World Cup quarter-final was significant for more than one aspect but it was Riaz’s 30 minute spell with Shane Watson that was the highlight of the match.
"It's ridiculous what the end result is. We are all entertainers. That to me was one of the highlights of the World Cup. A guy running in bowling at 150km/h plus and Watson looked like he was at school," Lara told India's NDTV.
"It's just unbelievable that that's the end result ... both were fined. I don't know what the ICC is thinking. It's just uncalled for. We need this in a sport that people are running away from, especially 50-over cricket. I loved the exchange. It was above board as far as I'm concerned and I can't wait to meet him. I want to meet with [this] Riaz guy. I'll pay the fine."
Wahab was charged with using obscene language, while Watson was accused of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game when the two faced each other. “The incident happened in the 33rd over of Australia’s innings when Watson ignored the umpires’ instructions and verbally engaged with Wahab, who, at the end of the over, followed through towards the batsman and used aggressive and abusive language,” said an International Cricket Council statement.
“It was above board as far as I’m concerned and I can’t wait to meet him. I want to meet with [this] Riaz guy. I’ll pay the fine,” Lara told NDTV. “It’s ridiculous what the end result is. We are all entertainers. That to me was one of the highlights of the World Cup. A guy running in bowling at 150km/h plus and Watson looked like he was at school,” he added.