Harare, March 8: Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been suspended for next two games in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier after he accumulated four demerit points within a 24-month period following his latest breach of the Code of Conduct.
The cricketer also received a 15 percent fine for his latest offence and one demerit point following which he'll have to sit out in the next two matches.
Shahzad was found guilty of breaching Article 2.1.8, which relates to 'abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an international match', during a thriller against hosts Zimbabwe at the Bulawayo Athletic Club on Tuesday (March 6).
Shahzad had been fined 100 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points in for his unruly behaviour during a Twenty20 International against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Dubai International Stadium on December 12, 2016. Addition of this one demerit point took him to the threshold of four demerit points, which, pursuant to article 7.6 of the Code, have now been converted into two suspension points.
Consequently, Shahzad will now miss Afghanistan's matches against Hong Kong and Nepal, which will be played in Bulawayo on 8 and 10 March, respectively.
Following this suspension, the four demerit points will remain on Shahzad's disciplinary record. If he reaches the next threshold of eight or more demerit points within a 24-month period, then they will be converted into four suspension points.
The latest incident happened when Shahzad, after being caught by Malcolm Waller off Tendai Chatara for 30 in the ninth over, hit his bat hard on the pitch adjacent to the match pitch, which left a significant divot on the turf.
Shahzad admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee David Jukes and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor and Afghanistan's 16-year-old spin sensation Mujeeb Rahman have also been sanctioned for separate incidents during the match.
Taylor was found to have breached Article 2.1.5, which deals with 'showing dissent at an umpire's decision during an international match', while Mujeeb was found guilty of breaching Article 2.2.8, which relates to 'throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an international match'.
Taylor was fined 15 percent of his match fee and received one demerit point after pleading guilty to the charge, while Mujeeb was fined 50 percent of his match fee and got three demerit points following a hearing that took place this morning after he had denied the offence and opted to contest the charge at a full hearing.
(With inputs from PTI)