Asif Ali may face match suspension for flashing bat at Afghan bowler

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2022-09-08 06:08:00

Pakistan’s Asif Ali (R) and Afghanistan´s Fareed Ahmad argue after a dismissal during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket Super Four match between Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on September 7, 2022. —AFP 

DUBAI: Pakistani batter Asif Ali may face suspension for a couple of matches for violating the ICC Code of Conduct during an Asia Cup 2022 match against Afghanistan, sources said Thursday.

According to the sources, Match Referry Andy Pycroft conducted the hearing after the match was concluded and informed the players about the fines for breaching Level 1 of the code.

The ICC will announce its decision in this regard today.

Speaking to Geo News, senior sports correspondent Abdul Majid Bhatti said Pycroft is one of the strictest match referees on the ICC panel and the players may face maximum punishment over their conduct during the match.

He said that for Afghanistan, the suspension may not be as consequential but if Asif Ali is barred from playing, Pakistan will face problems in the final against Sri Lanka.

What had happened?

The Pakistani player lost his cool and angrily waved his bat at Afghanistan bowler Fareed Ahmad in an unseemly spat after his dismissal in a tense finale to Wednesday’s Asia Cup thriller.

Naseem Shah hit two sixes at the start of the final over, leading Pakistan to victory by one wicket with four balls to spare in their tricky chase of 130, and setting up a final with Sri Lanka.

Tempers flared when fast bowler Fareed struck twice in the 19th over including the key wicket of big-hitting Asif.

The batsman, who hit two sixes in a brisk 16 off eight balls, was caught at short fine-leg in an attempt to hook a bouncer and became embroiled in a row with Fareed as he made his way off the field.

An incensed Asif gestured in the direction of Fareed with his bat after the Afghan bowler’s inappropriate remarks, before players intervened along with the umpire to defuse the tension.

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan, who top-scored with 36, played down the incident, saying it happened “in the heat of the moment” and was best left on the field.

Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi was fielding in the deep and said he didn’t know what happened in the middle.

Pakistan’s win knocked out Afghanistan as well as rivals India in the process. Afghanistan and India meet in a dead rubber in Dubai on Thursday.

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