NEW DELHI: Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been suspended for two matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 after the player copped a demerit point and 15 percent fine for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. Shahzad has collected 4 points within a 24-month period.
During Afghanistan's thrilling encounter against Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Shahzad was found guilty of breaching Article 2.1.8, which relates to “abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an international match”.
Since Shahzad waa fined 100 per cent of his match fee and given three demerit points in a T20 against United Arab Emirates at the Dubai International Stadium on 12 December 2016, the addition of one more demerit point took him to the threshold of four demerit points, which, according to article 7.6, , have now been converted into two suspension points.
Consequently, Shahzad will now miss Afghanistan’s matches against Hong Kong and Nepal, which will be played in Bulawayo on 8 and 10 March, respectively.
Even after he serves his suspension of two games, the demerit points will remain on Shahzad’s disciplinary record. If he reaches the next threshold of eight or more demerit points within a 24-month period, then they will be converted into four suspension points.
On Tuesday, after getting caught by Malcolm Waller off the bowling of Tendai Chatara for 30, Shahzad hit his bat hard on the turf adjacent to the match pitch, leaving a divot on the turf. Shahzad admitted to the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee David Jukes and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.
Meanwhile, Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe and Afghanistan’s 16-year-old Mujeeb Rahman have also been sanctioned for separate incidents during the match.
Taylor was found to have breached Article 2.1.5, which deals with “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during an international match”, while Mujeeb was found guilty of breaching Article 2.2.8, which relates to “throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a player, player support personnel, umpire, match referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an international match”.