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In a significant development, India women's team skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur, finds herself suspended for the next two international matches. The suspension comes as a result of two separate breaches of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third match of the ICC Women's Championship series against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
The first breach occurred when Kaur expressed her frustration after being dismissed, hitting the wickets with her bat. This action led to a Level 2 offence under Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "showing dissent at an umpire's decision." As a consequence, she was fined 50 percent of her match fee and received three demerit points on her disciplinary record.
The second breach involved a Level 1 offence for "public criticism in relation to an incident occurring in an international match." During the presentation ceremony, Kaur openly criticized the umpiring in the match. For this, she was fined 25 percent of her match fee and received one demerit point.
Kaur admitted her offences and accepted the proposed sanctions by Akhtar Ahmed of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Referees. Due to the accumulation of four demerit points, Kaur's offences resulted in two suspension points. Consequently, she will miss either one Test match or two ODIs or two T20Is, depending on which comes first for the team.
The suspension of Harmanpreet Kaur sends a clear message about the ICC's commitment to maintaining discipline and respect for the game's spirit. Players are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct, which serves to uphold the integrity of the sport and its officials.
As the women's game continues to grow rapidly, the scrutiny on players' behavior and conduct intensifies. With increased media attention and fan engagement, it is imperative for players to set positive examples and uphold the values of fair play and sportsmanship.
Harmanpreet Kaur's suspension for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct serves as a reminder that no player, regardless of stature or reputation, is above the rules of the game. As women's cricket enjoys a steep rise in popularity, maintaining discipline and respect for the sport becomes even more critical. This incident should prompt all players to approach the game with the utmost professionalism and uphold the spirit of cricket both on and off the field.