Cricketers could soon find themselves removed from the ground or ‘sin-binned’ for 10 overs as the sport’s lawmakers try out new on-field sanctions to address the declining standards of player behaviour.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of the game’s laws, has invited leagues, schools and MCC Universities in the United Kingdom to be part of the trial where umpires will be empowered to impose on-the-spot sanctions.
Match officials currently report players or incidents to the match referee at the end of day’s play following which actions are taken.
“There is clear evidence, both anecdotally and through increased reports via leagues, that the standards of player behaviour on the cricket field are declining worldwide,” the MCC said.
“Whilst the majority of cricket is played in a competitive but fair spirit, there are some players, or even teams, whose behaviour is below what is expected for cricket.
“Indeed, five matches in the UK had to be abandoned in 2015, following outbreaks of violence.”
Mirroring the red card in soccer, a cricketer might be sent off for the rest of the match or retired out while batting for the most serious level-four offences like threatening an umpire, physical assaults and racist abuse.
The MCC has proposed 10 overs of sin-binning a player for level-three offences, such as threatening and intimidating behaviour, racist comments and bowling a deliberate beamer.
A five-run penalty is the proposed sanction for lesser offences.
“The trials are part of a thorough review of the Laws of Cricket being undertaken by the Club with a view to publishing a new Code of the Laws in October 2017,” the MCC said.