Suspending Gibbs will serve no purpose

Neil Manthorp – 06/06/2001

On Thursday June 7, at 4:30 p.m. Herschelle Gibbs will face yet another UCB Disciplinary Committee with the prospect of becoming the first cricketer in history to be suspended twice.

The Committee will not lay charges. They will not cross-examine nor will they argue, they will simply sit in judgement and listen to the reasons that Gibbs’s legal counsel give as to why he should not be banned for another three matches.

The onus is on Gibbs and his representatives to prove to the committee why he shouldn’t be banned.

As far as the United Cricket Board and the DC committee are concerned, the suspended sentence is hanging like a guillotine and Gibbs cut the rope when he transgressed in Antigua.

There appears to be less support amongst the public than there ever was before, too, so things are not looking too good for Herschelle. Or are they?

Before we withdraw our support for the player and the DC decide whether or not to invoke Gibbs’ ban, I believe we should ask ourselves a couple of important questions.

What good will banning him do? What purpose will it serve? There is chance that a second banning, with the subsequent worldwide headlines, could destroy Gibbs. Or at the least, set him back another year or two.

So, most importantly, we should ask ourselves: Would the punishment (suspension) fit the crime?

Whatever your views are about marijuana, can we honestly say that taking a puff of a joint ( with FIVE other team mates) in the privacy of a hotel room is worthy of the recriminatory effects that a suspension that would bring?

I’m not saying ‘treat him lightly’, certainly not. Give him 100 hours of community coaching to do, and make him teach schoolchildren. But for goodness sake, don’t ban him.

The one place you can guarantee that Herschelle Gibbs won’t get into trouble is on the cricket field. Keep him on it for as long as possible.

And by the way, his behaviour and conduct on the 12 week tour of the Caribbean was exemplary. Apart from the night the Test series was won. Make the punishment fit the crime.

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