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England v New Zealand

Is Stuart Broad at risk of a ban after his reaction to Devon Conway decision?

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Stuart Broad wasn’t best pleased with the decision to give Devon Conway not out on the second morning of the second England-New Zealand Test match, and while most of the debate was over the rights and wrongs of the umpire’s call, the England seamer was criticised too.

Following a sanction handed down by ICC match referee Chris Broad, Stuart’s father, in England’s series against Pakistan last year, Broad was momentarily one demerit point away from a ban. However, with one of those demerit points having come in August 2018, Broad has now received two demerit points in the last 24 months, and is two points away from a suspension.

Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which deals with showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during an international match, suggests that Broad could be in trouble. The document doesn’t contain an exhaustive list of what can count as dissent, but given that shaking the head can theoretically be enough to risk a punishment, Broad’s actions are arguably enough to see him sanctioned.

There is room for interpretation. While Broad was clearly disappointed at the decision, whether his disappointment was “excessive” is open to debate. Similarly, while there’s little debate that he entered a debate with the umpires about the decision, whether it counts as “prolonged” is unclear.

Being found guilty of an offence under article 2.8 can be either a level 1 or 2 offence, and even a level 1 offence can be enough to warrant two demerit points, which would be enough to see Broad banned. However, recent precedent suggests that one demerit point is the maximum Broad will be handed, and even that isn’t a given.

Of the 36 sanctions under article 2.8 listed on the ICC website, all but two have seen fewer than two demerit points handed down, with two seeing no demerit points given at all. The two that did see two or more demerit points awarded were Jason Roy’s reaction to being given out in England’s 2019 World Cup against Australia, which was exacerbated by an audible obscenity being picked up on stump mic, and the Netherlands’ Phillipe Boissevain, who was heard not just disagreeing with the umpire about one decision, but also suggesting he had been inconsistent through the game.

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