Nathan Lyon was on Monday charged with Level 1 breach following his ball-drop send-off to South African cricket team batting mainstay AB de Villiers on the fourth day of the opening Test at Kingsmead, Durban.
While Lyon has apologised to de Villiers regarding his actions, the Australian cricket team member who claimed most Test wickets in 2017 has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Lyon reportedly told De Villiers that there was no malice in his action while apologising.
De Villiers was run-out for a duck when he was refused a single by South African opener Aiden Markram, and a flat throw by David Warner from short fine leg ended his innings prematurely during the hosts’ second innings.
Lyon, who completed the run-out, dropped the ball near to a diving de Villiers which grazed his chest as the South African master lay helpless being dismissed.
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South Africa eventually lost the first Test by 118 runs on Monday as Australia took a mere 20 minutes and 22 balls to knock over the last wicket to take a vital lead.
According to cricket.com.au, with Lyon being charged with Level 1 offence, he could be fined up to 50 per cent of his match fees along with two demerit points to his name.
Former South African captain Graeme Smith, meanwhile, criticised Lyon for his actions. “The Aussies were pretty fired up at that time pushing for a victory. But he (Lyon) is an experienced cricketer. I think he’ll probably say it was unnecessary himself,” Smith said.