Off The Field

Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga suspended by ICC for abusing umpire

Written by Praveen CA

Newly-named Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga has been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a strict punishment over abusing an on-field umpire during the series-ending defeat against Afghanistan earlier this week. Hasaranga has been slapped with a two-match suspension after his total demerit points reached five within the last 24-month period following his latest breach of the ICC Code of Conduct, for which he received a 50 per cent fine and three demerit points.

On Thursday, Hasaranga launched a scathing attack against Lyndon Hannibal, who was the square-leg umpire during the tense final over in the third T20I against Afghanistan in Dambulla, after a full high toss delivery from Wafadar Momand, which passed batter Kamindu Mendis above waist height without pitching, was deemed legal.

Sri Lanka required 11 runs off the final three balls when the incident occurred. With Momand’s delivery called legal and Mendis making no contact with the full toss, the equation became 11 off 2. Sri Lanka eventually lost by three runs.

“That kind of thing shouldn’t happen in an international match,” Hasaranga said of the incident. “If it had been close [to waist height], that’s not a problem. But a ball that’s going so high… it would have hit the batsman’s head if it had gone a little higher. If you can’t see that, that umpire isn’t suited to international cricket. It would be much better if he did another job.”

Hasaranga was found guilty of breaching article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which pertains to “Personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an International Match.

With the all-rounder’s demerit points accumulating to five over the last 24 months, which converted to two suspension points, it implies that the player will either get a ban for one Test match or two ODIs or T20Is, whichever comes first. Hasaranga will hence miss Sri Lanka’s first two T20Is against Bangladesh next month.

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Praveen CA