A County Championship match has been marred by ugly player behaviour and led to Indian Test batter Cheteshwar Pujara copping a ban.
Sussex was dealt a 12-point County Championship penalty after the club received its fourth penalty of the season, following a fiery encounter between Sussex and Leicestershire in the most recent round of the competition.
Accumulating four penalties in one season triggers a 12-point deduction and, in this case, led to Pujara — the captain of Sussex — receiving a one-match suspension.
Pujara was reprimanded for “wilfully mistreating any part of the cricket ground, equipment or implements used in the match” in the first fixture of the season, while Tom Haines of Sussex also drew the ire of officials in April.
Another Sussex player who’s been reprimanded is Jack Carson, who was reported for “making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with another player”, having attempted to trip a batter as he ran between the wickets.
Pujara’s ban has ruled him out of Sussex’s next match, against Durham, while Haines and Carson were dropped from the squad, as was Ari Karvelas amid an ongoing investigation.
Compounding the fallout of the behaviour is Sussex’s hopes of being promoted from division two to division one have been impacted drastically.
“We have made Jack and Tom unavailable for selection for this game at Derbyshire,” head coach Paul Farbrace said.
“Following the umpires and match referee’s decision to charge both players with on-field level-one and level-two offences, we needed to take a stance, and show them we will not condone such behaviours.
“Ultimately it has cost us the availability of Cheteshwar and we have been deducted 12 points.
“We have also decided it is not appropriate for Ari Karvelas to be made available for selection until the investigation that is in place has been concluded.
“It is a great shame that these incidents have tarnished what was a fantastic game against Leicestershire, and all the hard work that has gone into the season.
“I am disappointed for our fantastic members and supporters and can assure them we will be working hard to make sure we are not in this position again.”
Haines and Carson both apologised for their actions.
“In the heat of the battle during the previous match against Leicestershire my desperation to compete and ultimately win the game resulted in me crossing the line in what is deemed acceptable within the spirit of cricket,” Carson said.
“I would like to apologise to my teammates and to all our Sussex supporters for my actions during the game.
“I plan to learn from the experience and conduct myself in the correct manner without losing my fierce determination to compete in all fixtures while representing the club.”
Haines apologised for ”overstepping the mark with regards to discipline on the field”.
“It came out of pure passion to compete and help the team win the game.
“This is something I will learn from and channel better in future games for Sussex.”