Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been handed a two-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after his team bowled their overs far too slowly in the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Nagpur.
The match, which Sri Lanka eventually won by three wickets to level the series, finished around 45 minutes later than it should have and Dhoni, as captain, was handed the ban by match referee Jeff Crowe while the rest of the players were fined 40 percent of their match fees.
"The India captain like his Sri Lanka counterpart was reminded and warned before and during the ODI series to be mindful of the slow over-rates and the penalties under the revised code," Crowe said.
“The India side was at par until the 42nd over but bowled only eight overs in the last hour which is unacceptable. I accept the fact that the ultimate desire of the India side was to win the match but at the same time it had deadlines to meet and also fulfill the responsibilities it owed to the stakeholders.”
Virender Sehwag will captain India in Dhoni's absence for the next two matches in Cuttack and Kolkata on 21st and 24th December.
Dhoni becomes the second international player to receive a two-game ban in as many days after Sulieman Benn was banned for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct in Perth.
Meanwhile, wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik and fast bowler Ishant Sharma have been added to the squad for those two matches with Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who has yet to feature in the series, left out.
© Cricket World 2009