ICC chief executive officer(CEO) David Richardson has said that growing incidents of ball-tampering threatens to hurt "Cricket's DNA" as a sport played with great values. There have been infamous incidents of players deliberately and mistakenly, altering the condition of the ball by applying an artificial substance to it and that, Richard says, has been a major worry for the game's governing body as well.
Delivering the annual MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s on Monday, August 6, Richardson said, “Cricket’s DNA is based on integrity, but we have seen too much behaviour of late that puts that in jeopardy and this has to stop,”
“Sledging that amounts to no more than personal abuse, fielders giving send-offs to batsmen who have been dismissed, unnecessary physical contact, players threatening not to play in protest against an umpire’s decision and ball tampering."
“This isn’t the version of our sport that we want to project to the world.”
Having taken behaviour against the spirit of the game to a level 3 offense, Richardson says ICC is extremely determined to punish any "ugly and verbal abuse" that players get involved in these days.
Ricardson added, “The public reaction around the world to the incidents in the recent Australia-South Africa series was an eye-opener, The message was loud and clear, cheating is cheating and it’s not what we signed up for.”
There have been calls from players like Faf du Plessis and Dinesh Chandimal for the game to have greater clarity on what actually constitutes tampering with the ball but Richardson believes that is a “little disingenuous” of players to say.
He added, “Over the last few months I have read comments from players requesting guidance what is allowed in relation to the ball, They have asked if they can chew gum, wear sunscreen or drink a sugary drink."
“To be brutally honest I find this a little disingenuous. The laws are simple and straightforward: do not change the condition of the ball using an artificial substance. If you are wearing sunscreen, sucking a mint or chewing gum with the intent of using the cream or the sugary saliva on the ball you are ball-tampering."
“You may not always get caught and we are not going to stop players from chewing gum or wearing sunscreen but if you are, then don’t complain. Taking the attitude that it’s always been there to some extent is a mistake. The public have spoken.”
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)