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Gulbadin Naib Alleged Of Cheating: Will ICC Impose Penalties?

Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib sparked major controversy on Tuesday during the final Super Eight match of the 2024 T20 World Cup against Bangladesh at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, St Vincent. Accusations of cheating arose after an apparent bout of cramps, with discussions on the spirit of cricket following the incident. The incident occurred […]

Gulbadin Naib Alleged Of Cheating: Will ICC Impose Penalties?
Gulbadin Naib Alleged Of Cheating: Will ICC Impose Penalties?

Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib sparked major controversy on Tuesday during the final Super Eight match of the 2024 T20 World Cup against Bangladesh at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, St Vincent. Accusations of cheating arose after an apparent bout of cramps, with discussions on the spirit of cricket following the incident.

The incident occurred in the 12th over of the second innings in a rain-affected match. Bangladesh fell behind the DLS par score by three runs after three consecutive dot balls from Noor Ahmad. A light drizzle was present, and Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott signaled players to “slow down,” pointing towards the sky. At that moment, Gulbadin, who was standing still at the slip, fell clutching his hamstring due to cramps.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan was displeased with what commentators alleged as a ‘time-wasting’ technique. However, the tactic seemingly worked as no further deliveries were bowled, with covers being brought on. Had the match been washed out, Afghanistan would have won on DLS. Bangladesh’s Litton Das had notched up a fighting half-century, putting Afghanistan in a tricky position.

In a dramatic turn, the covers came off after a few minutes. Gulbadin Naib returned to the field, picking up a key wicket before Naveen-ul-Haq took the final two wickets, securing Afghanistan’s win by eight runs and their first-ever semifinal in an ICC tournament.

Post-match, social media scrutinized Gulbadin’s actions, especially after he was seen running wildly in celebration. Rashid Khan addressed the incident, saying: “He [Naib] had some cramp. I don’t know what happened to him and I don’t know what’s going on in social media but that doesn’t matter… It’s not something that brought a massive difference in the game. We came back on the field after five minutes, and there was no massive difference.”

Will ICC Punish Afghanistan Star?

According to section 41 of the ICC Playing Conditions for the 2024 T20 World Cup, umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. If an action by a player is deemed unfair, umpires can call a Dead ball and report the matter. For a first offence, the captain is issued a first and final warning, with a subsequent offence resulting in five penalty runs to the opposing team. However, this wasn’t an option at the moment in the game.

Section 4.9 of the Playing Conditions, concerning ‘Time wasting by a fielding side,’ states that if umpires consider an over’s progress unnecessarily slow, they can call a Dead ball, warn the captain, and inform the batters.

Under the ICC Code of Conduct, Gulbadin’s act could be a Level One or Level Two offence, which could result in a fine of up to 100 per cent of match fees or two suspension points. The final decision depends on whether the on-field officials report the incident to the match referee as time wasting.

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AfghanistancheatingGulbadin NaibICCorld CupT20 WTDGThe Daily Guardian