India middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who is leading Sussex in Division II of the County Championship, has been slapped with a one-match ban while the team has been handed a 12-point penalty after the club received their fourth fixed penalty of the season.
The club received its third and fourth penalties of the season during their win over Leicestershire at Hove in the recent round of the County Championship last week.
As per County Championships rules, accumulating four penalties during a season automatically triggers a 12-point deduction under regulation 4.29 of the Professional Conduct Regulations.
Regulation 3.0 states that a captain who led the side in all of the matches where the penalties were received shall also be suspended for one match when the four-penalty threshold is crossed, according to reports in the English media.
Sussex came into the game against Leicestershire with two fixed penalties against them. Pujara was the first to get a penalty when he was reprimanded for “wilfully mistreating any part of the cricket ground, equipment or implements used in the match” in Sussex's first match of the season against Durham.
Tom Haines was reprimanded during a fixture against Yorkshire in April.
In the match against Leicestershire, Haines was the culprit again as he was reported by the umpires for a Level One offence. Jack Carson also received an individual fixed penalty for a Level Two offence (making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with another player). Both players have been dropped from Sussex’s squad for their next match against Derbyshire, as has Ari Karvelas, with an investigation in place regarding him.
Pujara has scored three centuries for Sussex this season and averages 54.08. Tom Alsop will captain the side against Derbyshire, starting on Tuesday, before Pujara is once again available for selection in the final round of matches.
"It is a great shame that these incidents have tarnished what was a fantastic game against Leicestershire, and all the hard work that has gone into the season. I am disappointed for our fantastic members and supporters and can assure them we will be working hard to make sure we are not in this position again,” Sussex head coach Paul Farbrace was quoted as saying by the media.
“Ultimately it has cost us the availability of Cheteshwar and we have been deducted 12 points. We have also decided it is not appropriate for Ari Karvelas to be made available for selection until the investigation that is in place has been concluded. This provides other players in our squad with a great opportunity to show they can perform at this level, and more importantly, contribute towards the team challenge to win matches in the County Championship," he said.