In what looks like being the final controversy of his playing career, Shane Warne has been fined $5000 for breaching Cricket Australia's Code of Behaviour.
Although he has not officially announced the recently completed Big Bash League would be his swan song, it is believed the 43-year-old is all but certain to retire after leading the Melbourne Stars to the semi-finals of the second instalment of the BBL.
Warne was found guilty of breaching Rule 5: Laws of Cricket and Spirit of the Game by CA Commissioner Arthur Lodge.
He was in hot water for his actions during the BBL semi in Perth when all-rounder James Faulkner was listed on the Stars' team sheet as captain and took part in the coin toss with Scorchers skipper Simon Katich.
Warne was in trouble for his team's slow over rates and could have been suspended for the final if his team was tardy again in the semi. Warne had previously been issued with one strike for a slow over rate violation, with a second strike this season resulting in an automatic one-match suspension.
BBL teams were sent a memo last month by Cricket Australia. Under the heading “Over Rates”, the memo stated that “If a team's official captain is selected but not named as captain, this will be considered against the Spirit of Cricket and may attract a Code of Behaviour charge.”
The spin king was not present at the hearing. He was represented by Melbourne Stars chief executive Clint Cooper and team manager Ben Robertson.