The fourth match of the tri-series between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe was washed out on Monday following heavy downpour in Bulawayo. In a match which lasted for a little less than 14 overs, Sri Lankan bowler Suranga Lakmal ended up on the wrong side of a controversial incident. The bowler was fined 50 percent of his match fee by match referee Javagal Srinath and two demerit points were added to his disciplinary record for a level one breach of ICC Code of Conduct.
The incident took place during the second over of the Zimbabwean innings when Lakmal threw the ball at the striker’s end, though the batsman, Chamu Chibhabha, was within the crease after playing his shot and was not attempting a run. The throw missed the batsman marginally and went to the wicketkeeper.
An ICC media release stated, "Lakmal was found to have breached 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."
A Level 1 breach includes a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 percent of the player's match fee, and one or two demerit points based on match referee's views regarding the incident. And if a player accumulates four to seven demerit points within a two-year period, they are converted into two suspension points and in such case, the player will be banned for one Test or two ODIs or T20Is, whichever comes first.
The ICC released a statement on Tuesday morning regarding the incident which read, "Lakmal dangerously threw the ball back at Zimbabwe opener Chamu Chibhabha at the striker's end when the batsman had stayed in his crease after playing a shot and was not attempting a run. The throw missed the batsman and went to the wicketkeeper, but such a reaction from the bowler was deemed as contrary to the spirit of the game."
The right-arm bowler pleaded guilty and accepted the ICC's decision. Lakmal was charged by the on-field umpires Michael Gough and Langton Rusere, third umpire Richard Illingworth and fourth umpire Jeremiah Matibiri.