The third ODI between Afghanistan and Netherlands in Doha, part of the World Cup Super League series, was marred by controversy after Netherlands were handed a five-run penalty for changing the condition of the ball.
Before the final delivery of the 31st over of the Afghanistan innings, the two on-field umpires were seen having a chat. They retrieved the ball from bowler Brandon Glover and started inspecting it.
The fielding captain, Pieter Seelar went in for a chat with the umpires as the bowler got involved as well. Replays showed that Netherlands fielder Vivian Kingma was disturbing the seam of the ball with his fingernails while shining it on his trousers.
Under the Laws of Cricket, this incident came under law 41 dealing with unfair play.
41.3 The match ball – changing its condition
41.3.1 The umpires shall make frequent and irregular inspections of the ball. In addition, they shall immediately inspect the ball if they suspect anyone of attempting to change the condition of the ball, except as permitted in 41.3.2.
Under the exceptions, a fielder is permitted to clean the ball, dry it in case it has gone wet, and polish it with his clothes. However, this wasn’t deemed to be the case here.
Further the law stipulates what should be done if it is found that the condition of the ball was illegally altered.
41.3.4 If the umpires consider that the condition of the ball has been unfairly changed by a member or members of either side, they shall ask the captain of the opposing side if he/she would like the ball to be replaced. If necessary, in the case of the batting side, the batters at the wicket may deputise for their captain.
220.127.116.11 Regardless of whether a replacement ball has been chosen to be used, the bowler’s end umpire shall
– award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing side.
– if appropriate, inform the batters at the wicket and the captain of the fielding side that the ball has been changed and the reason for their action.
– inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred.
The umpires together shall report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the offending side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain, any other individuals concerned and, if appropriate, the team.
The umpires after consultation with the Afghan batters changed the ball, and also signalled a five-run penalty against Netherlands. Soon after Kingma was seen in an animated chat with the umpires. Afghanistan went on to win the game by 75 runs.
In a subsequent development after the game, ICC suspended Kingma for four matches (ODIs/T20Is) for breaching Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct. He was banned under article 2.14 under the ICC Code of Conduct for players and player support personnel, which relates to changing the condition of the ball.
Kingma admitted the offence and accepted the sanction.