ICC Chief Executive David Richardson on Monday (August 6) highlighted the significance of gentleman cricketers, saying that the world cricket needs characters like Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes but it equally needs a Mahendra Singh Dhoni or a Rahul Dravid to maintain the balance.
While delivering the 2018 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s, Richardson drew everyone’s attention towards the cheating and sledging in international cricket.
"On the field the cricket needs its larger than life characters. Its Colin Milburns, Freddie Flintoffs, Shane Warnes, Virat Kohlis, Ben Stokes but we equally it needs its Frank Worrells, its Mahendra Singh Dhonis, its Rahul Dravids, its Colin Cowdreys to make sure that we all stay in the good side of that line," Richardson quoted during his speech.
Although the ICC chief agreed that the governing body "do not have all the answers to the challenges", he made it clear that they are working collectively to solve the issues.
"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," he remarked.
Richardson went on to talk about the steps taken by the ICC to reprimand any sort of personal abuse with a six-Test or 12 limited-overs matches suspension.
He revealed that ICC is working on "educating the players on what it means to play the game within the spirit."
The ICC chief also urged the home team to preserve their values and respect the visiting team during a bilateral series.
The touring team should be treated as "honoured guests with the standard of practice facilities and other logistical arrangements exactly the same as the home team, if not better".
David Richardson seemed a bit disappointed while talking about the conduct of national team coaches, as they often endorse the boorish behaviour of their players.
"Too many coaches or team managers of recent times are too quick to side with their players, blame the umpires for being biased against their team, storming off to the match referee's room to complain," the ICC CEO pointed out
"Winning must obviously be the aim of any game but not at all costs, not when it means compromising the integrity of the game," he further said.
Richardson found it a bit strange that players are not aware as to what extent the ball tampering is "disingenuous".
"Over the last few months, I have read comments from players requesting guidance on what is allowed in relation to the ball. Asking if they can chew gum, wear sun screen or drink a sugary drink. The laws are simple and straightforward do not change the condition of the ball using an artificial substance and if you are caught, don't complain. Saying others do it is not a defence. You are cheating,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)