Curran ban upheld after Sixers appeal

Tom Curran's four-match ban stands after intimidating an umpire on December 11

A four-game suspension handed to Sydney Sixers import Tom Curran for intimidating an umpire has been upheld by Cricket Australia, after the club’s appeal against the sanction was dismissed.

The English fast bowler will not play again until January 3 at the earliest, missing upcoming KFC BBL|13 blockbusters against the Melbourne Stars on Boxing Day and the Brisbane Heat on New Year’s Day.

"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," Alistair Dobson, General Manager of Big Bash Leagues, said in a statement.

"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."

Curran was banned for four Big Bash games on Thursday after being found guilty of a Level 3 offence under the governing body’s code of conduct, before footage later emerged of the offending incident that occurred prior to the Sixers’ December 11 clash against the Hobart Hurricanes.

Host broadcaster Channel Seven's fixed pitch and stump cameras revealed Curran practicing his run-up onto the UTAS Stadium pitch during the warm-up, which is forbidden under section 6.3 of the Big Bash playing conditions.

The fourth umpire Muhammad Qureshi, tasked with supervising the pitch during breaks in play, was then seen talking to Curran who continued to run to the start of his run-up at the other end of the ground.

With Curran at the top of his mark, the umpire stood at the crease and was heard (motioning to the non-playing, then playing surface) “you can run here, but not here”.

Curran proceeded to run at the umpire, who stood his ground next to the stumps, with only the English allrounder's sidestep to his right and the umpire's slight step away preventing a collision.

After narrowly avoiding a collision with the official, Curran turned around and exchanged words with the umpire while waving his hand for him to move out of the way.

Curran was subsequently charged by match referee Bob Parry under Article 2.17 of the code of conduct for "intimidation or attempted intimidation of an umpire, match referee or medical personnel whether by language or conduct (including gestures) during a match".

He contested the charge but was found guilty.

"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," Curran said in a statement following the appeal. 

"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.

"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."

A bowler routinely tasked with crucial overs at the death, Curran has proven a crucial member of the Sixers' outfit over the years.

Cunning Curran stifles Hurricanes with three wickets

Named in the BBL|09 team of the tournament, his absence for the upcoming busy schedule is a blow to the Sixers in their bid to make a fourth Big Bash final in five seasons.

The Moises Henriques-led side currently sit in second on the BBL|13 standings after winning their opening three games.

KFC BBL|13 standings

Matches played
No results
Net Run Rate
Total points
1 Brisbane Heat Men Brisbane Heat Men HEA 10 7 1 0 2 0.972 0 16
2 Sydney Sixers Men Sydney Sixers Men SIX 10 6 2 0 2 0.339 0 14
3 Perth Scorchers Men Perth Scorchers Men SCO 10 6 3 0 1 0.725 0 13
4 Adelaide Strikers Men Adelaide Strikers Men STR 10 5 4 0 1 0.331 0 11
5 Hobart Hurricanes Men Hobart Hurricanes Men HUR 10 4 6 0 0 -0.268 0 8
6 Melbourne Stars Men Melbourne Stars Men STA 10 4 6 0 0 -1.051 0 8
7 Melbourne Renegades Men Melbourne Renegades Men REN 10 2 6 0 2 -0.288 0 6
8 Sydney Thunder Men Sydney Thunder Men THU 10 1 7 0 2 -0.652 0 4

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

T: Ties

N/R: No results

NRR: Net Run Rate

Ded.: Deductions

PTS: Total points

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