India captain Virat Kohli has been penalised by the ICC for his behaviour with on-field umpire Michael Gough on the third day of the ongoing Test against South Africa in Centurion. Kohli was fined 25% of his match fee and received one demerit point for “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.
The incident occurred in the 25th over of South Africa’s second innings. Kohli persistently complained to Gough about the state of the damp ball – play had resumed after a rain interruption – in the final session, and then threw the ball into the ground in an “aggressive manner,” according to the ICC.
Kohli pleaded guilty to the Level 1 charge and accepted the sanction imposed by ICC match referee Chris Broad.
India were also unhappy when they were taken off for bad light; fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah had beaten the bat twice in the over just before that. Kohli and India coach Ravi Shastri were seen going to the match referee’s room immediately. The conversation looked animated.
Bumrah later said in a press conference that the ball got wet as soon as they took the field, and also that they wanted to carry on when they were taken off because “they were carrying a good momentum”.
This is the first demerit point Kohli has received since the introduction of the system of demerit and suspension points. If he accumulates four or more demerit points within 24 months of the first such incident, they will convert into suspension points and a ban from a Test or two limited-overs internationals, whichever format he is likely to be selected for comes first.