Alastair Cook has expressed his “frustration” with the umpires’ treatment of Ben Stokes during the second Test in Mirpur.
Stokes, the England allrounder, was fined 15 percent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur.
The incident happened during the morning session on Sunday when Stokes ignored the on-field umpires’ requests to stop “verbally engaging” with Bangladesh batsman Sabbir Rahman. The on-field umpires – Kumar Dharmasena and S Ravi – had also advised England captain Cook of Stokes’ actions but, in the words of the ICC media release, “the player didn’t comply with the instructions”.
Sabbir and Stokes were involved in a heated passage of play, with Sabbir taking the attack to Stokes’ bowling and Stokes beating his bat on a couple of occasions. Each time, Stokes treated the unflustered Sabbir to a piece of his mind.
As a result, Stokes was found to have violated Article 2.1.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.
In addition to the sanction imposed for his breach of Article 2.1.1, one demerit point has been added to Stokes’ disciplinary record. If Stokes reaches four or more demerit points within a 24-month period, they will be converted into suspension points and he will be banned. Two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first for the player.
Stokes admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. As such, there was no need for a formal hearing.
All level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official warning, a maximum penalty of 50 percent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.
But Cook, the England captain, suggested the umpires had involved themselves “too quickly” and felt Stokes and Sabbir had contested a compelling passage of play.
“I do find it a little bit frustrating,” Cook said. “Both Sabbir and Stokesy are very competitive cricketers. To me, people love it. That’s what people watch.
“Sometimes I believe the umpires can get involved too quickly, and then it blows up even more. When umpires get involved it can drag it out and brings more theatre to it than you need.”