Video frees the AFL star - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Video frees the AFL star

By Guy Hand 03/04/2003 08:47:55 PM Comments (0)

New video technology used in the recent World Cup Cricket broadcasts has helped West Coast skipper Ben Cousins win his AFL appeal against a one-match ban.

The AFL Appeals Board cleared Cousins of striking Port Adelaide's Damien Hardwick during their game at Subiaco last Saturday.

Critical to Cousins' defence was digitally-enlarged video footage used in cricket telecasts to zero in on contentious caught behind and bat-pad decisions.

The digitally-enlarged frame-by-frame footage of the incident showed Cousins made no contact with Hardwick's face - directly contradicting the evidence of two of the three umpires who laid the report.

Appeals Board chairman Peter O'Callaghan, QC, said there was sufficient doubt created by the new footage to clear Cousins.

Cousins will now be able to play for West Coast against Hawthorn in Launceston on Sunday.

The dashing midfielder is also back in contention for the Brownlow Medal and maintains his record of never having been suspended in his eight-season, 146-game AFL career.

"That's been a big part of it - to know my integrity as a player has been upheld," Cousins said after Thursday night's hearing.

"I've been a fair player throughout my career and I think this decision tonight proves it."

"I've maintained that I've told the truth all along.

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