stricter rules

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jul 2018 14:15:05

THE International Cricket Council (ICC) has done well to add to its rule books another stricter clause that aims at bringing discipline in on-field behaviour of players and also impose stricter penalties for offenses like ball-tampering and fixing of any kind. By introducing these features the ICC is seeking to restore old values that marked cricket as the gentleman’s game in the past. The latest disciplinary rule that the ICC has introduced makes it clear that tampering of a ball could lead to a player being barred for six test matches or 12 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), making it a level 3 transgression. That is severe enough punishment for such cheating on the ground.

Apart from coming down heavily on ball-tampering, the new ICC rule also has added abuse and obscenity in the list of offenses punishable under its rules. This calls for more disciplined and gentlemanly behaviour by the players on the ground with the expectation that players from both sides will not give any occasion to the authorities to wield the stick. It also enhances the authority as well as the responsibility of the on-field and TV umpires on keeping strict vigil on the players.

Players routinely indulged in throwing tantrums, using abusive language against each other, making obscene gestures, indulge in wild, uncalled for, often offensive, celebrations after the fall of a wicket, engage in corrupt practices like match-fixing, spot-fixing at the behest of bookies, throwing matches etc. As a consequence, the ICC had to bring strict norms for reining in on-field behaviour of the players. The ICC made its least tolerance for any breach of discipline and any corrupt practice known by introducing various rules from time to time. Such a strict stance by the ICC has led to many players belonging to various cricket playing countries being awarded severe penalties, including life ban and even jail terms for such offenses.

The recent provocation for the ICC to impose stringent penalties for ball-tampering, use of foul language and obscene gestures was the Australian team’s attempt at tampering the ball during their tour of South Africa. It came out that the captain of the Australian team and a senior member had used a junior player to tamper the ball during a Test match. The act was captured on camera and led to resignations of the three-some and also severe punishment of a prolonged ban by Cricket Australia.

With cricket getting much popular in many countries and corporate entities pouring in much money for promotion of the game, bookies too got interested in the game. And with that came the menace of corruption. Hence it was only incumbent on the part of the ICC and other national boards to lay down stricter norms for players.