I don’t want to make a big deal about this, because in the end, 15% of anyone’s match fees is a piddling amount (well, compared to the million dollars Sharma just earned). But it seems pretty clear from these two videos that Symonds started the fight. Sharma has his finger in the air as he looks at Symonds, but he doesn’t say anything until Symonds gets the suntan moving.
Watch as Ravi Shashtri, mostly fair and judicious, notes that since the match referee acted strictly by the books, he could have saved Sharma with a similarly technical interpretation of the rule as well. He says that Sharma’s fingers were not pointing towards the pavilion per se, but to the President’s box (which goes unmentioned in the ICC’s voluminous Code of Conduct). So, technicality for technicality, Sharma should have been let off. Yes, here we have it: cricket and lawyerly parsing — the British Commonwealth at its greatest.