Eoin Morgan, England’s captain, has been suspended for the fourth one-day international against Pakistan because of England’s slow over rate in the third ODI. Morgan will miss England’s penultimate ODI before the World Cup.
As well as his suspension, Morgan was also fined 40 per cent of his match fee as part of his sanction by the International Cricket Council. The rest of his team have been fined 20 per cent.
In the absence of Morgan, Jos Buttler, who was rested for the third ODI, is expected to return as captain in what could be a straight swap to the batting line-up. Buttler is England’s vice-captain in all three formats of the game, and stood in for Morgan impressively for England’s 2-1 victory in Bangladesh in 2016. England were already considering giving Morgan one of the two remaining ODIs off to give Buttler more experience leading the team.
The sanctions on Morgan and England were imposed by match referee Richie Richardson. England were adjudged to have been two overs behind on their over rate, once extra time allowances - like to retrieve the ball after boundaries - were taken into account.
Morgan is suspended for a game because it is his second offence in a 12-month period. He was found guilty of a minor over-rate offence in the ODI against the West Indies in February.
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England issued no comment and accepted the charges.
Jonny Bairstow, who was man of the match with a score of 128, was also reprimanded by the ICC for a separate offence. For striking his stumps in frustration when he was dismissed, Bairstow was reprimanded for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct. This means that it gains one demerit point on his disciplinary record.
The measures imposed on Morgan and Bairstow will not have any bearing on the World Cup, as the ICC wipes away all previous demerit points for the duration of the tournament, treating the competition as a stand-alone event for disciplinary purposes.
“It's too long, it needs to be shorter than that,” admitted fast bowler Chris Woakes, about England’s over-rate.
“It felt a bit longer. We obviously didn't have an extra spinner. Obviously Rash [Adil Rashid] the majority of the time will bowl 10 overs as will Mo - but Mo only got through six this time. We probably were a little bit slow, we could have probably got through a little bit quicker. But when the ball's disappearing to the fence, sometimes you need to reassess and take that extra minute to decide what your plan is going to be and execute it.”
In the absence of Rashid, England’s spinners only bowled seven overs between them, with Joe Denly only entrusted with a solitary over of leg spin, which yielded nine runs.
With Mark Wood and Jofra Archer both in line for a return in the fourth ODI, the focus on the make-up of England’s final World Cup 15 will intensify. Archer, omitted from the provisional squad, seems certain to be elevated to the 15, most likely in place of another fast bowler. David Willey and Tom Curran appear to be the two most vulnerable bowlers. Woakes said that his ongoing knee complaint had become “a lot better” since the tour of the West Indies, after jabs he had in March.
“Safe is probably not the word, but you always feel like you need to put in performances and I'm pleased I managed to put in a good performance,” Woakes said.
“Someone, unfortunately, will miss out but we don't sit in the dressing room talking about 'is it going to be me?', 'is it going to be you?'. I think everyone knows it's there and it's creating a good competitive edge to the team but we don't talk about who is going to miss out and who is going to be selected.
“The batters have obviously set the benchmark over the last few years, there's always been competition for places there - more so maybe than the bowling. And this, I suppose, has done the same for the bowlers.”