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BRISTOL: England will have to find a new captain for the fourth One-day International against Pakistan on Friday after skipper Eoin Morgan was banned from the match by the International Cricket Council for a slow over-rate offence.

Morgan was sanctioned after World Cup hosts and favourites England took around four hours to bowl their 50 overs in a six-wicket win over Pakistan in the third ODI at Bristol on Tuesday.

He was also fined 40 percent of his match fee and his players 20 percent of theirs after match referee Richie Richardson ruled England were two overs short after time allowances were taken into consideration.

As Morgan had previously been found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during the Barbados ODI against the West Indies on Feb 22, this latest incident constituted his second minor over-rate offence within a 12-month period and so led to a one-game ban.

“The suspension means Morgan will miss the fourth ODI against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday,” said an ICC statement issued on Wednesday.

England have been rotating their side during the Pakistan series as they look at options before naming a final 15-man squad for a home World Cup starting later this month.

England may well have rested Morgan for at least one game during the five-match Pakistan series in order to give vice-captain Jos Buttler more leadership experience.

As it is, star batsman Buttler, who was rested at Bristol, could now return as captain for Friday’s match at Trent Bridge.

Buttler has captained England in five ODIs and four Twenty20 matches, while Test skipper Joe Root is also a mainstay of England’s one-day team.

Morgan’s cumulative punishment will not roll over into the World Cup, with an ICC spokeswoman saying that all players taking part would start the tournament with a ‘clean slate’.

Jonny Bairstow also found himself censured by former West Indies captain Richardson as a result of events in Bristol.

The England wicket-keeper was

reprimanded for breaching level one of the ICC’s code of conduct relating to “abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings” when smashing his stumps in frustration after he was bowled for a match-winning 128.

In addition, one demerit point has been added to his disciplinary record.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2019