Auckland Hearts captain suspended after swearing directed at umpire

State Auckland Hearts captain Paula Gruber has been suspended for three playing days after swearing at an umpire during Auckland’s State League game against Canterbury in Christchurch on 4 January.

Umpires Peter Spall and Peter Gasston filed a report that after an Auckland dismissal by run out, Gruber, who was sitting on the boundary, was heard to loudly direct a comment to the umpire involving swearing, disputing the decision.

The incident was reported as breach of Rule 3a of the New Zealand Cricket Code of Conduct, relating to unacceptable behaviour.

A hearing on the alleged breach was convened Association Commissioner Lee Robinson on 6 January. In his decision Robinson noted that Gruber had agreed that the comment should not have been made, and that she had apologised to the umpires at the time.

Robinson noted that Gruber had a longstanding record of playing for Auckland and had not previously offended.  The penalty of three playing days was lower than the possible penalty of five days, taking into account the player’s unreserved apology and fact that the incident was a momentary outburst, Robinson said.

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