Zimbabwe’s talismanic all-rounder Sikandar Raza has been banned for two games after his altercation with two Ireland players in his side’s last ball victory in the first T20I between the two sides in Harare.
Raza had otherwise enjoyed an outstanding individual game, having claimed 3-28 and then scored a 42-ball 65 as Zimbabwe successfully chased down 148 by one wicket with just one ball left spare.
After the fifth ball of the 13th over, bowled by left-arm seamer Josh Little, Raza got into an argument with the bowler. Just as Little started going back to his mark, Curtis Campher, fielding in the in-field, joined in. The Zimbabwe captain aggressively stepped towards Campher and made animated gestures with his bat and hand. The umpire then had to force Raza to stay back and control the situation.
Raza received two demerit points for his involvement in the altercation and was subsequently handed a two-game ban, ruling him out of the rest of the T20I series, having previously accrued two other demerit points in the previous 24 months. Campher and Little each received one demerit point for their involvement.
The ICC press release confirming the punishments for all three players stated that Raza was charged for “aggressively charging towards Campher and Josh Little while pointing his bat and breaking away from the umpire who had tried to calm the situation.”
Campher, meanwhile, was charged for “charging towards Raza, side-stepping one of the on-field umpires who tried to stop his progress.” Little was charged for “making physical contact with Raza after the latter complained about Little’s blocking his path when trying to make a run.”
Ireland levelled the series in the second T20I, also at Harare, chasing down 166 with two balls left spare with Harry Tector top scoring for the visitors after Mark Adair’s two new-ball wickets made a big impact for Ireland earlier in the piece.
Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match analysis, player interviews, and much more.