Cricket: MacGill fined after Columbo casino row

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THE AUSTRALIAN leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has been fined around pounds 600 and reprimanded by team management for swearing at a casino official in Columbo, Sri Lanka, Australian cricket officials said yesterday.

MacGill visited the casino, which is open only to foreigners, with a team-mate, Colin Miller, and the Australian team's security officer, Reg Dickerson, on Sunday after returning to Colombo from Galle, where the second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka had earlier been abandoned.

MacGill said he had complained to the casino's supervisor after he thought a dealer was cheating him, but thought the fine was unreasonable, a view later supported by the casino's management. "I think the fine is over the top," MacGill said. "A reprimand would have been appropriate, because I swore and it's offensive to some people. I offered to apologise to the casino, which I will do."

MacGill expressed his unhappiness about the fine in a meeting with Australia's captain, Steve Waugh, the team manager, Steve Bernard, and coach, Geoff Marsh, on Monday.

Bernard later declined to comment on the incident, but said it would have no impact on MacGill's chances of playing in the third and final Test, which begins today.