Ball-tampering scandal forces ICC to reassess player punishment code

As per the current laws, ball-tampering is a level-2 offence but it might see a rectification once the cricket committee conducts its review.

`Cricket Australia announced a severe punishment on the convicted trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft | AFP

Considering the way players are receiving suspension and sanction lately owing to their on-field misdeeds, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to arrange a special meeting with current and former players to reassess the appropriateness of the current regulations. In the meeting, the ICC will also discuss on how to safeguard the spirit of cricket.

As per the current laws, ball-tampering is a level-2 offence but it might see a rectification once the cricket committee conducts its review. Sledging, send-offs and showing dissent against umpiring decisions might carry greater penalty in future.

According to the reports in Indian Express, the ICC chief Dave Richardson has written a letter to various cricket boards that read: “cricket committee will define what is acceptable behavior for the benefit of players and match officials. He also called for the need to achieve consistency in decision making around the enforcement of the disciplinary code.”

In the last one month or so, cricket has witnessed some serious inconsistency in decisions from the governing body. Bangladesh skipper was fined for telling his players to abandon the game while Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada was suspended for making shoulder contact before the decision was overturned on appeal. On Sunday (March 25), the ICC suspended Australia skipper Steve Smith for one Test and fined 100% of his match fee for his involvement in the ball tampering scandal. Moreover, the governing body fined rookie Australian opener Cameron Bancroft for the same offence.

“We need to define more clearly for the benefit of both the players and the match officials what is acceptable behavior and what is not and what are the appropriate sanctions that should be imposed when a player breaches the Code. We also need to consider how we can reach greater consistency in the decision making around the application and enforcement of the Code,” Richardson wrote.

The ICC CEO further added that the committee will strive to address the player behaviour in general and sledgings and send-offs specifically.

“This issue, however, goes beyond ‘ball tampering’ and … over the last few months we have been witness to a number of examples of poor player behavior in various international series around the world including ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpire decisions and a walk-off. There is a need for cricket to take an urgent and hard look at itself,” Richardson elaborated.

The ICC is yet to confirm on the players who will be part of the meeting but has called for a wide-ranging review.

“We intend bringing together some well respected former and current players who together with the ICC Cricket Committee will consider the appropriateness of the current offenses and the sanctions in the Code as well as how to make the spirit of the game a more integral part of the Code. The ICC will be conducting a wide ranging review into player behavior, the spirit in which the game is played and the Code of Conduct.” Richardson concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 29 Mar, 2018

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