Vernon Philander fined and handed demerit point for Jos Buttler send-off

Vernon Philander has been fined 15 percent of his match fee for his send-off to Jos Buttler on the second day of the Wanderers match. He has also been handed one ICC demerit point, a gesture that will have no bearing on his future career, seeing as this is also his last Test.

Philander was seen saying something to Buttler after he dismissed him in the 85th over of England’s innings, but television cameras did not pick up the exact words. Match referee Andy Pycroft found that Philander had breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match,” and that he had used “inappropriate language,” which “could have provoked an aggressive response from the batsman.”

Philander and Buttler have history in this series after Buttler was given the same punishment for calling Philander a “f****** knobhead,” in the second innings at Newlands. Since then, the South African fielders have taunted Buttler every time he has walked out to bat, but Philander is the first to be sanctioned for it.

Philander is the fourth player to find himself in on the wrong side of the ICC in this series and second in this match. Kagiso Rabada was found guilty of a celebrating in a way that could provoke an aggressive reaction from the batsman, when he screamed in Joe Root’s vicinity after bowling him in Port Elizabeth. Rabada already had three active points to his name and the addition of a fourth saw him suspended from this match.

And on Friday, Ben Stokes was involved in a verbal altercation with fans near the players’ tunnel and was caught on camera telling someone who suggested Stokes resembled the singer Ed Sheeran to “Come say that to me outside the ground, you f***ing four-eyed c***.” Stokes was also fined 15 percent of his match fee and earned a demerit point.

While the point will not mean much for Philander, who will not play international cricket after this match, it further mars what has been a forgettable final Test for the allrounder. Philander managed just two wickets in England’s first innings, lasted three balls this morning to become the first South African wicket to fall on day three and then left the field after bowling nine balls in England’s second innings, with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

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