ICC bans WI batsman Nicholas Pooran for ball-tampering

West Indies’ batsman Nicholas Pooran leaves the crease after being dismissed Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews for 118 runs during the Cricket World Cup match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, England, Monday, July 1, 2019.
Associated Press / Scott Heppell, file

West Indies talented batsman Nicholas Pooran was on Wednesday slapped with a four-match ban for ball-tampering, casting a dark shadow over the Caribbean side’s recent one-day whitewash of Afghanistan.

The incident took place during the third One-Day International (ODI) on Monday when television footage showed the 24-year-old wicketkeeper / batsman “scratched the surface of the ball with is thumbnail.”

On-field umpires Bismillah Shinwari and Ahmed Durrani, along with third umpire Ahmed Pakteen and fourth umpire Izatullah, reported the matter and Pooran on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the charge of “changing the condition of the ball.”

Pooran will now miss the three-match Twenty20 International series against the Afghans starting this week and also sit out the first Twenty20 of another three-match series against India next month.

“I want to issue a sincere apology to my teammates, supporters and the Afghanistan team for what transpired on the field of play on Monday in Lucknow, India,” Pooran said in a statement.

“I recognize that I made an extreme error in judgment and I fully accept the ICC penalty”, he added.

The young left-hander has played 16 ODIs and 14 Twenty20 internationals for West Indies.

He scored 21 against Afghanistan in the third ODI last Monday, which the regional team won by five wickets to win the three-match series 3-0.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerrit said Pooran must use the ball-tampering incident as a “learning experience.”

“He will suffer the penalty and will be missed from the team as a result,” Skerrit said.

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