London - England quick Stuart Broad has been fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after posting a tweet questioning the first-innings dismissal of team-mate Alex Hales during the ongoing fourth Test against Pakistan, the global governing body said on Saturday.
England opener Hales fell for six on Thursday's first day at The Oval when he clipped Mohammad Amir legside and was caught by Yasir Shah, diving forward.
Hales stood his ground, believing the ball had not carried.
Umpires Bruce Oxenford and Marais Erasmus called on television official Joel Wilson for assistance.
But with available replays inconclusive, the West Indian felt there was not enough evidence to overturn his on-field colleagues' original 'soft signal' of out.
Hales, who like Broad plays for Midlands county Nottinghamshire, walked off shaking his head and was fined on Friday after taking the extraordinary action on Thursday of going into third umpire Wilson's room and questioning the decision, while making what the ICC said were "inappropriate comments" on his way out.
At the time of Thursday's dismissal, Daily Mirror cricket correspondent Dean Wilson tweeted: "THAT IS OUT - Hales (6) clips Amir to Yasir at mid-wkt who takes a low catch diving forward. Replays are unclear but umps say out. 23-1."
But after Thursday's close of play, Broad - the son of former England opener turned ICC match referee Chris Broad - replied via Twitter saying: "@CricketMirror replays are unclear? You don't believe that do you?"
Hales, above a screen grab of the incident that appeared to show the ball touching the grass before Shah claimed the catch, added: "@StuartBroad8@CricketMirror bit blurry to be fair!"
Match referee Richie Richardson, who fined Hales 15 percent of his match fee on Friday for his conduct towards Wilson, hit Broad with a 20 percent fine - a punishment equating to some 2 000 ($2 586, €2 316) after stumps on Saturday's third day.
Broad, 30, was found to have contravened the clause in the ICC's code of conduct relating to "public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an international match".
Explaining his decision, former West Indies captain Richardson said in an ICC statement: "One of the most fundamental principles of the sport is to always accept and respect an umpire's decision.
"In this case, Stuart ignored this golden rule and made inappropriate comments in regard to the umpires' decision."
The charge against Broad was brought by on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Bruce Oxenford, third umpire Joel Wilson and fourth official Rob Bailey.
As Broad admitted the offence and accepted the fine, there was no need for a formal hearing.
Broad managed modest figures of one for 99 as Pakistan piled up 542 in their first innings on Saturday.
Hales's miserable match in south London then continued when he was lbw to leg-spinner Shah for 12 in England's second innings as Pakistan closed in on a win that would see them end the four-match series all square at 2-2.
At stumps, England were 88 for four, still 126 runs shy of making Pakistan bat again in the game with two days remaining.