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Australian batsman Slater suspended for Calcutta Test


NEW DELHI, March 9 (AFP) - Australia's opening batsman Michael Slater has been suspended by a match referee for the second Test against India after he confronted an umpire in the first match of the series, the Press Trust of India said on Friday.

The news agency said match referee Cammie Smith took the decision to suspend Slater from the second Test beginning in Calcutta on Sunday and impose a 50 percent fine of his match fee in the first Test.

Slater was involved in a confrontation with Indian batsman Rahul Dravid and umpire Srinivas Venkatraghavan after his appeal for a low catch was turned down in the first match at Bombay.

Slater defended his action in an interview with a Sydney radio station on Tuesday, saying the incident had been "totally blown out of proportion."

The Australian opening batsman was criticised by captain Steve Waugh for a verbal assault on Dravid when the batsman failed to accept Slater's word that he had taken a low catch in the second innings.

Slater was also seen to exchange words with umpire Venkataraghavan after Dravid was declared not out by the third umpire when television replays proved inconclusive.

Slater's troubles have been compounded by his poor run with the bat, although he had seemed certain to play in the second Test.

His best in seven innings on the tour is 32 against Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai prior to the first Test.

Slater made 10 and 19 in the first Test, which Australia won by 10 wickets on the third day to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.







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