'Won't be appointed': Umpire suspended in T20 World Cup drama

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Michael Gough, pictured here at the T20 World Cup in 2016.
Michael Gough (right) at the T20 World Cup in 2016. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

English umpire Michael Gough has been removed from his officiating duties at the T20 World Cup after breaching Covid-19 rules.

The 41-year-old was withdrawn from umpiring New Zealand's Super 12 match against India on Sunday in Dubai and was replaced by Marais Erasmus of South Africa.

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Gough has now been suspended for six days that he must spend in isolation.

British media is reporting that Gough breached the bio-secure bubble in his designated hotel.

"The ICC today confirmed that umpire Michael Gough will not be appointed to any further matches during the T20 World Cup following a breach of the bio-security protocols," the game's governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The ICC recognises the extended periods he has spent in bio-secure conditions over the past two years and will continue to support the wellbeing of all match officials operating in this environment."

Players and match officials at the tournament are not allowed to mingle with people outside their bubbles.

Gough was named the ECB's Umpire Of The Year for eight years running from 2010.

He was one of the on-field umpires during the ICC Test Championship final earlier this year.

Michael Gough, pictured here in action during a NatWest T20 Blast match in 2015.
Michael Gough in action during a NatWest T20 Blast match in 2015. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

India keep their World Cup semi-finals hopes alive

Meanwhile, India have kept their semi-final hopes alive with a dominant 66-run victory over Afghanistan in their Super 12s clash in Abu Dhabi.

The pressure was on Virat Kohli's men after losing their first two matches to Pakistan and New Zealand.

But they were never in danger of suffering a third-consecutive defeat after being inserted on Wednesday and racking up 2-210 - the highest score of the tournament so far - with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma both hitting half-centuries.

Mohammed Shami then took three wickets to help limit Afghanistan to 7-144.

"Much better wicket," a relieved India captain Virat Kohli declared afterwards.

"In the other two games as well, if we just had two overs of that free-flowing batting capability, that could have sent the message to the opposition that we've put them under pressure."

Despite the big win, India's slim chance to progress to the semi-finals depends on whether they can beat Scotland and Namibia by big margins, while other results also go in their favour.

"Net run-rate was on the back of our mind," Kohli said. 

"We spoke in the team meeting that we have to focus on the chance we have (to qualify for the semi-finals) and stay positive and hunt that chance down."

Earlier, Martin Guptill's 56-ball 93 inspired New Zealand to a comfortable 16-run victory over a spirited Scotland and improved their chances of reaching the semi-finals.

Guptill's effort helped him become the second batsman after Kohli to surpass 3000 runs in the T20 international game.

In response, Scotland could only manage 5-156 to hand their opponents - who had thumped pre-tournament favourites India in the last game - their second victory of the tournament ahead of their last two Super 12 stage matches against Namibia and Afghanistan.

with AAP

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