Kohli could face ban for 2 matches for argument with on-field umpires

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Virat Kohli

Birmingham: Indian captain Virat Kohli lost his cool with umpires Marais Erasmus and Ruchira Palliyaguruge during India’s 8th match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup against Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday. Kohli was furious after India lost a review when the third umpire did not use ball-tracker for an LBW call.

Kohli had lost his cool when the third umpire did not uphold India’s review challenging the not out decision of the on-field umpire in the 11th over of the match. One of Mohammed Shami’s deliveries had hit Bangladesh’s Soumya Sarkar on the pads leading to a huge appeal by the bowler for an LBW. However, the on-field umpire Marais Erasmus decided that Sarkar was not out.

This prompted Kohli to go for the review. Ali Dar, who was officiating as the third umpire concluded that the ball may have edged past Sarkar’s bat before hitting his pads. Dar decided to not go for the ball-tracking replay. This meant that the on-field umpire’s decision was upheld and India lost the only review they had to their disposal.

Under the new ICC Code of Conduct rule, players are expected to be punished for four different levels of offences. Each offence depending upon the severity carries demerit points starting from one to four. These points remain valid on a player’s record for 24 months. According to leading sports website, once a player gets four demerit points within 24 months, he gets one Test or two ODIs ban. If he gets eight demerit points within 24 months, the ban also doubles.

If the on-field umpires decide that Kohli’s offence during the India-Bangladesh match should invite two demerit points, then he may miss the next two matches of the World Cup.  If this indeed happens, India will be without its captain in the next two crucial World Cup matches including the semi-final contest.

On 23 June, Kohli was fined 25% of his match fee and given one demerit point for breaching level one of the ICC code of conduct, for ‘excessive appealing’ during India’s match against Afghanistan. He now has two demerit points as one was added during a Test match against South Africa in January 2018.

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