Following a series of ball tampering scandals worldwide, the International Cricket Council has tightened the Code of Conduct regarding the issue. According to the new specimen, player/players found guilty of ball tampering, can be banned for as many as six Test matches or twelve One Day Internationals instead of previous one Test suspension.
Changing the condition of the ball is now enlisted as a level three offence, with a maximum sanction of 12 suspension points which is equivalent to a ban of six Test matches or 12 ODIs. The decision was taken at its Annual Conference in Dublin which concluded on Monday.
The ICC has also introduced sanctions for ‘new offences’ including personal abuse and audible obscenities.
Stump microphone guidelines will also be in changing mode in order to allow the stump microphone audio to be broadcast at any time, including the time when the ball is dead.
The Board of International Cricket Council has also agreed to consider the ways of making member boards liable for its players’ behavior imposing suitable types of sanctions to be imposed on respective boards when the accumulated number of offences by its players exceed certain thresholds.
All of the above will be incorporated into the Code of Conduct later this year.
Four new offences were approved as part of the revised code of conduct — attempting to gain an unfair advantage (cheating, other than ball-tampering), personal abuse, audible obscenity and disobeying an umpire’s instructions.
Match referees will now hear Level 1, 2 and 3 charges with a Judicial Commissioner only hearing Level 4 charges and appeals.
Players or support staff who want to appeal a decision will now be required to lodge an appeal fee in advance which will be fully refundable if the appeal is successful.
Speaking on the issue of improving on-field behavior, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said, “It has been a productive week of meetings here in Dublin and it has been good to have all ICC members in attendance at our 75th Annual Conference. I and my fellow board directors were unanimous in supporting the recommendations of the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives’ Committee to drive improved behavior across our sport.
“It is vital that there is a strong deterrent to both players and administrators to ensure we have high standards of conduct in our game. We have more than a billion fans and we must not give any of them any reason to doubt the high levels of integrity within our sport.”
ICC chief executive David Richardson said, “I’d like to thank the Cricket Committee and the Chief Executives for their commitment to improving player behavior in the game and supporting the introduction of new offences and greater sanctions.
“There is a clear desire here to reclaim cricket’s unique proposition as a game that people can trust in and for us all to live the spirit of cricket in a way that is relevant in the 21st century. With regard to building a culture of respect, the board agreed that members should treat each other with respect as well as ensuring that their teams respect each other, the game and the match officials.
“There was strong reaffirmation from all members of the need to give support to our match officials around their decision making,” he said.
The other recommendations include the provisions of giving fair opportunities for a visiting team. That the visiting team should also be provided with an opportunity to prepare for upcoming international matches under similar conditions to those they will play in during the series including the same standard and variety of net bowlers and training pitches. Teams should also be provided with the opportunity to mix socially.