London: England one-day captain Paul Collingwood is set to be banned from international cricket after his side failed to bowl their overs in the required time during a dramatic one-wicket loss to New Zealand in the fourth one-day international at The Oval in London.
He now could miss matches during the forthcoming series with South Africa with the Durham all-rounder facing the prospect of being sidelined for four one-day internationals or two Tests or a combination ban comprising the two forms of the game.
The exact length of his punishment will be determined when Collingwood meets with Javagal Srinath, the match referee at The Oval, later Thursday.
Collingwood, who attended a disciplinary hearing held by Srinath, a former India fast bowler, after stumps on Wednesday has been found guilty of a level three offence under the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct.
In a statement issued from its Dubai headquarters, the global governing body confirmed that such an offence carries with it a minimum tarrif of a ban of four ODIs or two Tests or a combination involving both formats.
Durham all-rounder Collingwood's punishment has been elevated from a level two charge, brought against a captain for a rate deficit of more than two overs in an ODI, because it is the second time he has been found guily of the offence within the last 12 months.
The previous occasion when England were more than two overs short of its required over-rate was against India in Bristol on August 24 last year.
On that occasion England were, as at The Oval on Wednesday, three overs down and Collingwood was fined 50 percent of his match fee of some 1,250 pounds (2,500 dollars).
ICC regulations also state that players shall be docked five percent of their match fees for every over short of the required mark, with the captain fined double.
This means that each England player at The Oval will be fined 15 per cent of his match fee for the deficit but Collingwood is likely to escape a financial penalty as his punishment is set to come in the form of the ban.
England play the first of four Tests against South Africa at Lord's starting on July 10 with the opening fixture of a five-match one-day series against Graeme Smith's men at Headingley on Aug 22.
Collingwood was involved in a controversial incident at The Oval when he refused to withdraw a run-out appeal against Grant Elliott, after the all-rounder had been left flat out following a collision with Ryan Sidebottom late in New Zealand's innings - a decision that led to widespread criticism.
It was the second flashpoint of this five-match series after England took 83 minutes to bowl 19 overs during last week's third ODI at Edgbaston before the match was washed out one over short of the required minimum for a result with New Zealand well-placed for victory.
On that occasion, Srinath took no action against Collingwood.
New Zealand's last-ball victory at The Oval gave them an unbeatable 2-1 series lead ahead of Saturday's finale at Lord's.