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International Cricket Council to review punishment for ball-tampering

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to revisit its players’ ‘Code of Conduct’ and amendments are on the cards for specific serious offences like ball-tampering and sledging, the apex body’s Chief Executive Dave Richardson said.

cricket Updated: Mar 29, 2018 17:03 IST
AFP, London
International Cricket Council,ball-tampering,Steve Smith
The ICC’s latest announcement comes in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, which resulted in Cricket Australia handing out bans to sacked Australia captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft (not in pic). (Twitter )

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to review its punishment for ball-tampering in light of the Australia cheating scandal, warning the game is in danger unless decisive action is taken.

Cricket Australia has banned Steve Smith and David Warner from international and domestic cricket for a year while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was exiled for nine months over the incident during the third Test in South Africa.

Under its current code of conduct, the ICC were unable to impose more than a full-match fine and a one-Test ban on Smith under its current code of conduct, unlike the more stringent penalty since levied by Cricket Australia.

“We’ve come to realise that the world -- not only Australia -- regards ball-tampering in a very serious light. It goes to the spirit of the game,” said chief executive Dave Richardson.

“I must admit this has been an eye-opener for me personally. We need to look at the penalty imposed, specific to ball-tampering.

“Around the world, ball-tampering is considered cheating... I think we need to look at it again, and this is what has prompted this review.”

Richardson said a wide-ranging review, likely to be informed by respected former players such as Allan Border, Anil Kumble, Shaun Pollock and Courtney Walsh, would be an opportunity to “draw a line in the sand” and address fans’ concerns about how the game is played.

“The reaction all around the world shows us that if we neglect the way the game is played, cricket is itself in danger,” he said.

“We are going to ignore (that) at our peril... we don’t want to leave this lingering, and hope it will all go away.”

Richardson, a former South African wicketkeeper, said cricket had been blighted by bad behaviour in recent weeks including ugly incidents of sledging, abusive language and now the ball-tampering episode.

“With the full support of the board, we’ll be undertaking quite a wide-ranging review into player conduct -- and in particular the spirit in which the game is played,” he said.

“We hope this review will develop that universal culture of what it means to play the game in the correct manner.

“We want member countries, across the board, to be more accountable for the behaviour of their players -- take responsibility for it. That applies to all teams, not only Australia.”

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 16:20 IST