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CRICKET: Smethwick player gets ten-year ban over brawl.

Byline: Paul Bolton

The Birmingham League have imposed a ten-year ban on Smethwick's Mazhar Iqbal for his part in on-field brawl during a second team game last summer.

Iqbal, an all-rounder, was involved in the scuffle in which West Bromwich Dartmouth wicketkeeper Paul Swainson was kicked and punched following a dispute over a dropped catch.

The ban, the longest in the league's history, was imposed by the Birmingham League's disciplinary tribunal last September and upheld on appeal in October. Details have not been made public until now because Iqbal was subsequently charged with assaulting Swainson.

Iqbal was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a recent trial at West Bromwich Magistrates Court and was given a conditional discharge for 12 months, ordered to pay pounds 50 compensation and pounds 110 in costs. The Birmingham League's disciplinary committee found him guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.

'The umpires reported that Mazhar Iqbal entered the field of play unauthorised and confronted Paul Swainson,' said the disciplinary panel in a statement.

'Other unnamed Smethwick players also entered the field of play unauthorised and were reported to have kicked Paul Swainson while he was pinned to the ground.'

Smethwick have also been punished for failing to control their players. Their second team have been deducted 100 points, a decision which means that they have been relegated from the First Division for the forthcoming season.

A second Smethwick player, all-rounder Sajjid Hussein, was also charged with assaulting Swainson but the case was dismissed by West Bromwich Magistrates.

But the Birmingham League have banned Hussein for 12 matches starting on May 1, with six of the games suspended for 12 months. He will miss only the first four matches of the season having already served a two-match ban imposed by Smethwick at the end of last season.

Hussein was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute for his involvement in a scuffle with Swainson after a verbal disagreement.

Swainson was also found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and he has also been banned for 12 matches with half of the games suspended for 12 months.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 19, 2004
Words:355
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