Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of the Indian team, caused big turmoil in the cricketing world with her unsporting conduct during the third ODI against Bangladesh, which spiralled into a controversy after she lost her anger after an umpiring decision against her.
Harmanpreet Kaur fell short to connect the bat on a sweep shot against Nadia Akter, and the ball appeared to miss the willow, striking the hitter on her pad. The umpire ruled Harmanpreet out after confident pleas from Bangladesh bowlers, but the Indian captain was enraged by the decision, annihilating her stumps in fury and afterwards boisterously attacking the umpires.
Harmanpreet Kaur received not only harsh criticism but also a two-game penalty as a result of her misconduct. A lot of folks were disappointed with her behaviour and former India captain Mithali Raj and Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi joined the chorus of condemnation.
Furthermore, as she turned back to the pavilion, she continued to refute the umpires. Harmanpreet’s rage did not end there; the match finished in a stalemate, with the two sides splitting the trophy after a 1-1 tie in the three-match series, and the India skipper expressing her displeasure with the umpiring standards in the post-match presentation.
Harmanpreet Kaur described the umpiring as “pathetic,” and stated that the Indian team will explicitly prepare for the umpiring the following time it visits Bangladesh. It was also alleged that she asked Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana to call the umpires in the team photos as well – a remark that clearly irritated Sultana and the Bangladesh players.
According to an ICC statement, Harmanpreet Kaur was penalised 75% of her match fee and given four penalty points for violating the Code of Conduct. Afridi, on the other hand, felt she should have been penalised the entire match money as a fairer punishment.
To be precise, Harmanpreet Kaur was fined 50% of her match fee for the Level 2 infraction of “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision,” and she gained three demerit points on her record. She was additionally sacked 25% of her match fee for a Level 1 offence of “public criticism in relation to an incident occurring during an international match.”
Speaking about her alleged behaviour during the series-end photoshoot, Mithali Raj called Harmanpreet Kaur’s actions ‘disgraceful and atrocious’.
“A team is expected to show respect to the opposition, especially in this particular series where one must give credit to Bangladesh for how they played and fought hard. This is good for the sport, for women’s cricket. If it is true what is being reported in the media in respect to Harman’s behaviour towards the opposition captain during the photo session with the trophy, it is simply disgraceful and atrocious,” she wrote in her column for Hindustan Times.
Referring to Harmanpreet Kaur as a ‘role model’ for the next generation, Mithali Raj said the senior batter should’ve conducted herself in a dignified way as well.
“Harmanpreet is a good player and is a role model for a lot of kids. One has to conduct themselves in a dignified manner on and off the field as responsible cricketers. Earlier, women’s cricket did not have much coverage, or presence on the social media; now everything is in the public domain and all actions are emulated by aspiring kids who want to take up the sport. It is okay to be aggressive and show emotions to a point, but one shouldn’t forget the game is above individuals. While Harman’s anguish is understandable, her behaviour shouldn’t be condoned. Also, what happens in the match should be left there,” she further added.
READ MORE: “Happens In Heat Of The Moment” – Smriti Mandhana Backs Harmanpreet Kaur In Umpiring Debacle And Hitting Stumps
“This was way too much” – Shahid Afridi on Harmanpreet Kaur
Meanwhile, when asked if a greater sentence was justified, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi agreed, emphasising that the ICC should have set an example of integrity for the future, prohibiting such behaviour in the cricket arena. He vented his displeasure at Harmanpreet’s actions but stressed that players do conduct themselves like that in the heat of the moment. Afridi, on the other hand though, remarked that such behaviour is uncommon in women’s cricket.
Afridi, during a chat with Samaa TV, remarked, “This is not just India. We’ve seen these things in the past as well. Although, we don’t see this often in women’s cricket. This was way too much; it was a big event under ICC.”
“With the punishment, you set an example for the future. You can get aggressive on cricket; controlled aggression is good, but this was a bit too much,” he further added.
The Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur racked up four demerit points, resulting in a suspension from two international matches. There are currently no series slated for the bench before the Asian Games in September, which means Harmanpreet could miss the first two games of the premier tournament in Hangzhou.