BBL – Tom Curran’s appeal dismissed by BBL with four-game ban upheld

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Curran was suspended by Cricket Australia for four BBL matches after being charged and found guilty of a Level 3 offence under CA’s Code of Conduct for an incident before Sixers’ match against Hobart Hurricanes on December 11 in Launceston.

But the BBL confirmed Curran’s appeal had been dismissed on Sunday and the ban would remain, meaning the allrounder will miss the Sixers’ next three matches against Melbourne Stars, Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat, having already missed the win over Adelaide Strikers on Friday. Curran will be available again for the January 3 clash with Heat in Coffs Harbour.

BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said that Curran’s remorse had been acknowledged in the appeal process but respect towards umpires was imperative.

“Umpires are part of the lifeblood of cricket and it is essential they are respected and appreciated by players at all levels of the game,” Dobson said. “We acknowledge the remorse Tom’s shown following the appeal and look forward to seeing him back in Sixers colours.

“Tom has been a long-time contributor to the BBL and is a clear fan-favourite and someone we hope will continue to play an integral role in the competition moving forward.”

Sixers released a lengthy statement with Curran expressing regret for his actions.

“I have had a lot of time to reflect on my actions and the incident that occurred in Launceston on December 11,” Curran said.

“Across my decade long professional career I have always sought to have a friendly and respectful relationship with match officials, which I believe is reflected in the lack of prior code of conduct breaches across the world.

“Until the moment of the incident, my interactions with Umpire Qureshi on December 11 commenced in a manner consistent with the rest of my professional career, we shared a laugh as he worked through his duties measuring bats in the changeroom.

“My preparation for every fixture is deeply methodical and my focus is intense during the warmup. Part of my preparation is to do a run through and gauge my run up on that particular surface. I’ve done this before every match and for me it’s part of my routine for every match.

“The interaction with Umpire Qureshi took me by surprise at a time when I was very focused on my pre-match routine. I didn’t expect the stand-off that resulted.

“I deeply regret the way I reacted to it and the resultant impact for Umpire Qureshi, the Sydney Sixers and myself personally.

“My intention was always to veer off to Umpire Qureshi’s right, in a similar way to my run up at the other end. I had never considered running into him and never considered that he would think that was my intention. However, on reflection, I should have repositioned my run up a metre or so to my left. I would not do the same if the situation arose again, and I am sorry.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I also could have approached Umpire Quereshi during the fixture to discuss the interaction, hear his perspective and offer mine. I regret not doing this.

“Both the club and Tom would also like to apologise for being unable to speak about the incident until after today’s appeal was heard, as we progressed through the judicial process.”

Rachael Haynes

“I am genuinely sorry that I chose to continue to practice my run up in the direction of Umpire Qureshi and if he ever thought I sought to make physical contact with him.

“I would like to apologise to everyone that this has affected and thank those who have supported me through this incredibly difficult time, particularly Hannah Barnes, Greg Mail, Rachael Haynes and all of the Sixers’ players and staff.

“I look forward to rejoining my teammates and returning to the field on January 3 in Coffs Harbour.”

Head of Sydney Sixers, Rachael Haynes, defended her club’s decision to appeal the ban but accepted the result.

“We accept the findings of the Code of Conduct Commissioner and the sanction imposed,” Haynes said.

“While we support Tom as a valued member of the club, in no way do we condone any sort of disrespect towards match officials. This was a regrettable situation and one that Tom has shown remorse for.

“We sought to appeal the original decision based on previous Code of Conduct cases. Whilst not disagreeing that Tom had breached the code through his conduct, we felt that the charge was inconsistent with other offences. Following the ruling, we respect that not to be the case.

“Both the club and Tom would also like to apologise for being unable to speak about the incident until after today’s appeal was heard, as we progressed through the judicial process.

“We will continue to support Tom through the season and are looking forward to our next match on Boxing Day.”

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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