USA allrounder Jannisar Khan has been suspended for two matches and given four demerit points after being found guilty of breaching the ICC's code of conduct. This is the first time a USA player has been suspended under the ICC's current demerit points system and puts a cloud over his selection status for ICC WCL Division Two in Namibia next April.
USA need a top-four finish in the six-team event to guarantee ODI status through 2021. The tournament consists of five round-robin matches which determine if USA finishes in the top four, before a final-day playoff match that has no bearing on ODI status. It means Jannisar would be guaranteed to miss 40% of the pivotal round-robin stage if USA decide to include him in their 14-man squad for the event.
An ICC media release said Jannisar was charged with violating article 2.8 of the code of conduct, which relates to "showing dissent at a decision during an international match". The release goes on to state that Jannisar "appeared to show dissent at the decision and directed abusive language towards the umpire and his decision."
The incident occurred during USA's win over Singapore on the final day of WCL Division Three in Oman last week. Jannisar was given out caught behind for 24 with USA needing one run to achieve their target of 162.
The match was live-streamed on USA Cricket's YouTube page. Footage from the dismissal shows Jannisar throwing his hands up after being given out caught behind upon missing a cut shot to legspinner Anantha Krishna. Audio of the feed then clearly records Jannisar shouting, "Oh, come on, man! Oh, what the f***, man!" Jannisar then starts to walk off before the audio records him shouting, "S***, man!"
Jannisar pleaded not guilty to the charge laid by on-field umpires Vinay Kumar Jha and Rahul Asher, and third umpire Akbar Ali Khan. The plea was apparently done under the premise that Jannisar's language was expressed in general frustration at the decision rather than specifically directing abuse at the umpires.
After a hearing, ICC match referee V Narayanan Kutty found Jannisar guilty and issued four demerit points, which equates to a two-match ban for USA's next two T20Is or 50-over matches, whichever comes first. At the moment, USA have no matches scheduled prior to WCL Division Two in Namibia, due to be held from April 18 to 28.
Jannisar, 37, is a former Pakistan Under-15 and Under-19 player belonging to the same batch that produced future Pakistan internationals such as Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Taufeeq Umar, and the future South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir. He migrated to Houston, Texas several years ago where he plays his club cricket and also works as a youth academy coach. He made his USA debut in September after qualifying to play for his adopted country under the ICC's three-year residency rule.
Jannisar was the third USA player found guilty of a code-of-conduct violation during WCL Division Three. Monank Patel was handed one demerit point for a level one violation after pleading guilty to giving batsman Irfan Karim a send-off during USA's win over Kenya. Timil Patel was given one demerit point after pleading guilty to giving batsman Saif Ahmad a send-off during USA's win over Denmark.