English cricketer Jason Roy behaves badly and stupidly

In the semi-final game against Australia, English batter Jason Roy let loose with a fiery tirade against the umpires when, as was clear from the replay, he was mistakenly given out.

Roy, leading England’s chase of Australia’s 223, was batting on 85 when he attempted to pull Pat Cummins’ short delivery and missed by a fair margin, as replays later confirmed. Alex Carey dived to his left behind the stumps and pulled off an excellent collection and went up in appeal along with the bowler and some of the Australian fielders. Umpire Dharmasena looked uncertain but raised his finger, and with Jonny Bairstow having wasted England’s review earlier in the innings, Roy had to go.

He stood his ground at first and then walked off clearly unhappy, remonstrating with the umpires – Marais Erasmus was the other on-field official – on his way out and making his displeasure obvious. The stump mics even caught a furious Roy yelling “that’s f***ing embarrassing”.

Even though he was given out in error, Roy behaved extremely badly by loudly remonstrating with the umpire. The rules are very clear about this. Arguing with the umpire is strongly frowned upon and can get you severely punished for violating section 2.8 of the code of conduct for players. The code states that the following actions are culpable. [My emphasis-MS}

Without limitation, Article 2.8 includes: (a) excessive, obvious disappointment with an Umpire’s decision; (b) an obvious delay in resuming play or leaving the wicket; (c) shaking the head; (d) pointing or looking at the inside edge when given out lbw; (e) pointing to the pad or rubbing the shoulder when caught behind; (f) snatching the cap from the Umpire; (g) requesting a referral to the TV Umpire (other than in the context of a legitimate request for a referral as may be permitted in such International Match); and (h) arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the Umpire about his/her decision.

This offence is not intended to punish a batter showing his/her instinctive disappointment at his/her dismissal.

When assessing the seriousness of the breach, the following factors (without limitation) should be considered: (i) whether the conduct contains an element of anger or abuse which is directed at the Umpire or the Umpire’s decision; (ii) whether there is excessive delay in resuming play or leaving the wicket; or (iii) whether there is persistent re-reference to the incident over time.

It shall not be a defence to any charge brought under this Article to show that the Umpire might have, or in fact did, get any decision wrong..

(There was an interesting comment thread to this earlier post about what happens to players who argue and challenge umpires and referees in various sports.)

The reason Roy was stupid was because there was never a chance that the umpires would reverse their call because of his complaints so he should have known that it was an exercise in futility. Also that at that point, England were just 76 runs short of their target with eight wickets still in hand and plenty of overs left, clearly well on their way to an easy victory though in cricket nothing is ever certain. The main damage was that he was deprived of a century, a purely personal achievement. (He would have been better served to later remonstrate privately with his opening partner Jonny Bairstow in the dressing room. Bairstow squandered their only appeal when he was plumb out lbw earlier, which the replay confirmed. Because of that, Roy could not appeal against his decision.)

Because of his anger, Roy could well have been suspended for the next game or more, which means that England would have been without his services for the final against New Zealand. Thus he would have harmed his team because of his personal pique and loss of control. So he had nothing to gain but plenty to lose with his outburst. Professional players at this level of the game have to be able to control their anger. Fortunately for him and England, the authorities went with a lower penalty, fining him and giving him two demerits.

Meanwhile interest is very high for the final tomorrow and ticket re-sales are commanding high prices. Apparently about 40% of the tickets had been bought by UK residents of Indian ethnicity, no doubt anticipating India being in the final.

While the two teams are evenly matched, England have to be given the edge to win. While New Zealand will likely command more worldwide support. there will be a huge home field advantage for England in the crowds at the grounds.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Have their been comparable incidents in which a player has been suspended?

  2. Mano Singham says

    Yes, it has happened here and here.

    At the international level, as far as I can see, the stiffest penalty has been monetary fines and demerits that can lead to an automatic suspension if it exceeds a certain number in certain time.

    The Indian captain Virat Kohli came close to the edge during this World Cup in the game against Bangladesh.

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