The West Indies star batsman Nicholas Pooran has been handed a four-match suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for ‘changing the condition of the ball’.
Five demerit points were added to the record of the 24-year-old, who was caught on camera scratching the ball with his nails during the third ODI against Afghanistan in Lucknow on Monday (November 11).
The ball-tampering charge was leveled by on-field umpires Bismillah Shinwari and Ahmed Durrani and third umpire Ahmed Pakteen, as well as fourth umpire Izatullah Safi.
Pooran admitted the offence on Tuesday and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee Chris Broad and, therefore, there was no need for a formal hearing.
He will, therefore, now miss the next four T20I games for the Windies.
“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,” said Pooran in his statement.
“I recognize that I made an extreme error in judgment, and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident, and it will not be repeated. I promise to learn from this and come back stronger and wiser,” he added.
West Indies had completed a 3-0 sweep against Afghanistan in the ODIs, winning the third game by five wickets with eight balls to spare. Pooran had a successful series with the bat and was the Man of the Match in the second game for smashing 67 off 50 balls. He was likely to have kept wickets for West Indies in the T20Is, but they have Denesh Ramdin in the squad as back-up, and the 34-year-old will now get to add to his 68 T20I caps, the last of which came a year ago, in November 2018.