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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 January 2019

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa among three players suspended for eight weeks by Emirates Cricket Board

Critical tweets about organisation of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Karachi has led to Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad being punished

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa is among three players who have been banned by the Emirates Cricket Board. Courtesy Johan Jooste
UAE captain Rohan Mustafa is among three players who have been banned by the Emirates Cricket Board. Courtesy Johan Jooste

The Emirates Cricket Board have fined and suspended three players for critical comments they made on social media during the Emerging Teams Asia Cup earlier this month.

Rohan Mustafa, the UAE captain, as well as Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad, the two longest-serving players in the national team, have been barred from playing international cricket for eight weeks.

It means they will miss the planned home limited-overs series against Nepal next month.

“Emirates Cricket Board has confirmed it has completed a disciplinary investigation relating to an alleged violation of its Player’s Code of Conduct, and use of social media following a recent incident during the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Asia Cup,” the statement read.

“ECB concluded that three players, Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad, had violated its Code of Conduct and requirements for the use of social media.

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“As a result, each of the players have been suspended from international cricket for a period of eight weeks, fined and warned about their future conduct.

“ECB wishes to make clear that it takes the conduct and discipline of its players very seriously, and will not make any further comment on this matter.”

The UAE were on the brink of qualifying for the semi-finals of the eight-team competition in Karachi earlier in December.

However, their chances were scuppered when well placed in the final pool match against Hong Kong, after rain meant no result could be achieved.

The rain shower had been relatively brief, but the pitch was deemed unplayable after water had seeped under the covers at the Southend Stadium in Karachi.

The players took to social media to vent their frustrations, and were critical of the tournament’s organisation in the process.

Mustafa wrote in a tweet, “I am really sorry to say but we are out because of poor facility at the ground,” while Raza said there were “club-level covers at the so called ‘Test’ venue".

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Rameez wrote: “Never mind the security but there are more reasons to why international cricket has overlooked this part of the world when it comes to international cricket.”

Each promptly removed the posts, and replaced them with apologies.

“As captain of [UAE] I would like to apologise to everyone in Pakistan for our frustrated tweets after yesterday's match,” Mustafa wrote.

Mustafa is currently in Kathmandu, captaining a side in the Everest Premier League, but was still not able to move on entirely.

“Still hurting for not qualifying to semi in Asia emerging cup - good luck to all teams who are playing tomorrow,” he wrote ahead of the semi-finals.

Raza and Rameez wrote matching responses. “It wasn't the outcome we wanted and circumstances were unfortunate due to the weather conditions but I'd like to thank [Pakistan Cricket Board and Asian Cricket Council] for their warm welcome and generous hospitality,” they said.

Updated: December 19, 2018 07:56 PM

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