Indian cricketer Virat Kohli will be fined 50 percent of his match fee, for a finger gesture made to the crowd on the second day of the second Test match against Australia, according to a decision made by match referee Ranjan Madugalle.
According to Madugalle, Kohli was guilty of committing a Level Two offence which, according to the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct is using language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, player support personnel, umpire, match referee or any other third person during an international match.
The spokesman for the Indian team, G.S. Walia, told reporters Kohli pleaded guilty and apologized for his actions. However, Kohli maintained he was provoked by a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Kohli had earlier tweeted: I agree cricketers don't have to retaliate. What when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. The worst I've heard.
His justification, however, did not impress the match referee. It did, however, fetch him support from English cricketer Kevin Pieterson, who tweeted: Welcome to Australia buddy... That's the way it is mate... Beat them and they start abusing their own.
Kohli, who has a reputation as being of the more aggressive members of the national team, faced a similar situation in December, when he was tasked for showing dissent at an umpire's decision, during a match against the West Indies in Allahabad.
Finally, this incident could bring back memories of the 2008 Test, at the same ground, where Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was found guilty of racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds and was fined.