ICC committee delivers recommendations
Ball tampering sanction, player conduct and the toss were all discussed in Mumbai
30 May 2018, 07:43 AM AEST
The ICC cricket committee has recommended increased sanctions for ball-tampering and a new offence relating to personal abuse.
Both issues were at the fore in Australia's Test tour of South Africa earlier this year, which ended with Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner banned for a year and batsman Cameron Bancroft for nine months after the latter damaged the ball with sandpaper.
A bad-tempered series witnessed numerous other flashpoints, many of which could be covered by the recommended new offence of "personal, insulting, offensive or orchestrated abuse".
Warner and South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock clashed in a stairwell during the third Test, Australia spinner Nathan Lyon dropped the ball on AB de Villiers while celebrating a run-out and Proteas bowler Kagiso Rabada was banned for a game after a shoulder-bump on Smith took him over the ICC's demerit points threshold. Rabada was reprieved on appeal.
"The group felt that excessive personal abuse and ball-tampering were serious offences in the game and that should be reflected in the way in which they are dealt with," ICC cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble said in a statement:
"There was also strong support for giving the match officials more authority and subsequently greater support around their decision-making."
The latter aim will include authorising the match referee to upgrade or downgrade the level of an offence or sanction.
The committee also recommended the creation of a "Code of Respect" for players and another new offence of "attempting to gain an unfair advantage".
The coin toss will remain part of Test cricket after the committee resisted calls to automatically allow the visiting team to choose whether to bat or bowl first.
That suggestion had been brought about by the perception of home advantage becoming too great due to the preparation of favourable pitches.
The committee described the toss as "an integral part of Test cricket which forms part of the narrative of the game" but "urged members to continue to focus on the delivery of pitches that provide a better balance between bat and ball in line with ICC regulations".
The committee has made a series of recommendations to be shared with the chief executives' committee in June before final ratification by the ICC board, including:
- Raising the sanctions associated with ball tampering
- Creating a new offence for offensive, personal, insulting, offensive or orchestrated abuse
- The consideration of the introduction of a new offence of attempting to gain an unfair advantage
- Creating a Code of Respect
- Match referee to have the authority to downgrade or upgrade a level of offence or sanction