Smashing stumps and suspensions: India’s cricket captain faces Asian Games setback

The ICC has finally penalised the Indian cricket team's captain Harmanpreet Kaur for her aggressive behaviour during India vs Bangladesh match.

Smashing stumps and suspensions: India’s cricket captain faces Asian Games setback

India’s cricket captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, is set to miss the first two matches of the upcoming Asian Games due to a suspension imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). This action comes as a consequence of her breaching the ICC’s code of conduct during the final one-day international (ODI) match against Bangladesh.

During that particular match, Kaur expressed her frustration after being dismissed by smashing the stumps with her bat. As a result of this misconduct, she pleaded guilty to two charges pressed by the match referee, Akhtar Ahmed.

The ICC released a statement confirming that Kaur received three demerit points for “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision”, making her the first woman cricketer to receive a Level 2 sanction publicly since the ICC began listing code of conduct breaches in 2016. Additionally, she was fined 50% of her match fee for the same offence.

Furthermore, Kaur also faced a separate Level 1 penalty, incurring a fine of 25% of her match fee and one demerit point for “public criticism” of match officials. This criticism was directed at the umpiring during the Bangladesh series, with Harmanpreet referring to it as “pathetic”.

As per the ICC’s rules, when a player accumulates four or more demerit points within a 24-month period, these points are converted into suspension points. Depending on the number of suspension points accrued (ranging from four to seven), a player may face a ban from one test, two ODIs, or two T20Is, depending on their upcoming schedule.

This isn’t the first time Kaur has received demerit points. Previously, during the 2017 ODI World Cup semi-final against Australia, she earned a demerit point for her aggressive reaction towards her teammate Deepti Sharma after achieving a century.

After the recent game in Dhaka, India’s vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana, defended Kaur’s actions, stating that the captain disagreed with the umpire’s decision, leading to her emotional reaction. Mandhana also expressed a desire for “neutral umpires” in future India-Bangladesh matches.

Notably, such incidents of players breaking stumps as a reaction to umpiring decisions are rare in top-flight cricket. The last similar case took place in Bangladesh during a Dhaka Premier League T20 match in 2021 when Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan was suspended for three matches and fined for his misconduct.

With the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, scheduled between September 23rd and October 8th this year, India’s women’s cricket team will be participating in the T20 format. Kaur’s absence in the first two matches of the tournament will be a setback for the team as they aim to perform well in the prestigious event.

An engineering student enthusiastic about cricket and other sports. Blogs regularly on sports as well as fashion, food and fitness.

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