Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has been handed a two-match ban due to a code of conduct breach during the final ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
Harmanpreet was left fuming with the umpiring decisions during the recently concluded series against Bangladesh. The Indian Women’s skipper did not back down in letting the watching world know of her frustration, which involved her smashing the stumps during the third ODI, followed by some pretty harsh comments in the presentation ceremony.
Harmanpreet was initially fined 50 per cent of her match fee and received three demerit points for a Level 2 offence for showing dissent at an umpire's decision. The incident occurred in the 34th over of the Indian innings after the 34-year-old rattled the stumps with her bat after being adjudged out by the on-field umpire.
The second breach was during the presentation ceremony after the game in which Harmanpreet criticised the umpiring in the game. She was fined 25% of her match fee and received one demerit point for this offence. She pleaded guilty to both charges, resulting in a two-match ban.
According to the ICC’s code of conduct rules, if a player accumulates four demerit points or more in a space of 24 months, he/she is subject to a suspension for one Test or two limited-overs matches. Harmanpreet will be serving the suspension during the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, where she will not be in action for the opening two matches.
There was another video surfacing on social media where Harmanpreet was alongside Nigar Sultana, the captain of Bangladesh Women as they were preparing for a team photo with both sides holding the trophy. She allegedly asked Nigar Sultana to invite the umpires for the photo session, accusing the Bangladeshi skipper of helping them. This led to Sultana dragging her counterparts away from the team photo.
Smriti Mandhana backs Harmanpreet Kaur
The cricketing fraternity has been in splits after this incident. While multiple former cricketers like Aakash Chopra, Anjum Chopra and Madan Lal were unhappy with her behaviour, Harmanpreet continues to receive strong backing from her teammates.
Indian vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, however, was in support of her captain at the press conference after the match. While stating that most of the reactions happened in the heat of the moment, she also suggested that having neutral umpires for series like these can be a help.
“What happened in the middle is part and parcel of the game. We've seen these incidents so much when we see men's cricket so I'm sure you know something like this happening in women's cricket (is not unusual). I wouldn't say it is acceptable. But when you really want to win for India, these things happen,” Mandhana said.
The Punjab-based cricketer last earned a demerit point during the semi-final of the 2017 ODI World Cup against Australia, where she smashed a match-winning 171. She got into a mix-up with her batting partner Deepti Sharma, where Harmanpreet was seen firing some verbal bullets at Deepti, which left the latter in tears. Harmanpreet was found guilty of a Level 1 offence, which she had accepted.