Wanindu Hasaranga Faces Two-Matches Suspension After Umpiring Dispute

Sri Lanka Dynamic T20I Captain Penalized Over Controversial No ball Incident

In a decision that has stirred considerable discussion within international cricket circles,Sri Lanka’s T20I captain,Wanindu Hasaranga,has been handed down a two-match suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following a heated disagreement with umpire Lyndon Hannibal.The contention arose during the climactic moments of the third T20I against Afghanistan on February 21, leading to the suspension.Alongside the suspension,Hasaranga has been fined half of his match fees, sidelining him for the upcoming T20Is against Bangladesh.

The incident in question occurred when Hannibal opted not to declare a high full-toss delivered by Wafadar Momand to Kamindu Mendis as a no-ball—a decision that did not sit well with Hasaranga. The delivery in question, had Mendis remained stationary at the popping crease, more than likely would have exceeded waist height, a criteria that, under ICC’s playing regulations, warrants a no-ball.

Hasaranga openly criticized the umpire’s decision, suggesting that such oversight was unacceptable in international matches. He remarked on the discrepancy of the call, emphasizing the potential risk to the batsman’s safety had the ball traveled any higher. Hasaranga’s outspoken critique extended to suggesting that Hannibal consider other professional avenues, hinting at the umpire’s unsuitability for international cricket due to this lapse.

The stakes of the controversial decision were high,with Sri Lanka chasing 11 runs off the final three balls.The refusal to call a no-ball added to the team’s woes,culminating in a 3-run defeat and a 2-1 series loss to Afghanistan.

ICC’s Verdict on Hasaranga’s Conduct

Hasaranga comments led to the ICC finding him responsible of violating Article 2.13 of their Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.This article addresses the “Personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, or Match Referee during an International Match.” Accumulating a total of five demerit points—with three from this incident alone—resulted in Hasaranga’s conversion to two suspension points. This conversion policy stipulates a ban, applicable as either a one Test match suspension or two matches in the shorter formats (ODIs or T20Is), whichever is slated first for the involved individual.

Additional Sanctions and Observations

In related developments, Afghanistan’s standout batsman, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, also faced disciplinary measures. Gurbaz was fined 15% of his match fee and received one demerit point for not adhering to the umpire’s directives during the match, with specific emphasis on his modification of bat grip despite explicit warnings. This brings Gurbaz’s tally to two demerit points.

The disciplinary actions against Hasaranga and Gurbaz underscore the ICC’s commitment to maintaining discipline and decorum in international cricket, marking a notable event in the sport’s regulatory enforcement. As Sri Lanka looks ahead to their fixtures without their T20I captain, the cricketing world watches closely, reflecting on the imperative balance between authoritative governance and the passionate spirit inherent to the sport.

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