West Indies cricketer

Aussies claim rival’s language just wasn’t cricket

West Indies cricketer Viv Richards was accused yesterday of using foul language during what degenerated into an acrimonious Test series against Australia. The charge was levelled by three Australian players following an onfield verbal slanging match in the fifth and final Test, won by Australia. The committee said Richards, after repeated foul language, also suggested a fist fight to settle differences.

The incident marked another low point in player relations during the series, in which the West Indies won the first three Tests and drew the fourth. When the series began in Perth on Nov. 9, both sides agreed there should be no sledging – cricket’s term for verbal abuse aimed at distracting opponents.

As the Tests progressed, frustrations set in and the gentlemen’s agreement began to slip. Richards became involved in a heated argument with Australian keeper Steve Rixon and skipper Allan Border.

Umpires Mel Johnson and Ray Isherwood, whose stop-arguing orders were ignored for several minutes, reported Border and Rixon for conduct detrimental to the game.Aussies claim rival's language just wasn't cricketAussies claim rival’s language just wasn’t cricket

They were accused under the Australian players’ code of behavior, which does not cover the West Indians because it does not apply to touring teams.

The umpires’ report was considered yesterday by the Australian players’ committee of Kepler Wessels, Graeme Wood and Andrew Hilditch.

That players’ committee, after consideration of facts at its disposal, dismissed the complaint against Rixon and Border, leaving the umpires 24 hours to consider whether to appeal to an Australian Cricket Board arbitrator.

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