Players convicted of ball tampering will now be suspended for up to six Test matches after the International Cricket Council installed harsher punishments for foul play.
At the conclusion of the ICC’s five-day Annual Conference in Dublin, the governing body announced four new offences in the Code of Conduct and upped the penalty for Level 3 offences, which now includes ball tampering.
New offences include: Attempting to gain an unfair advantage (cheating, other than ball-tampering), personal abuse, audible obscenity and disobeying an umpire’s instructions.
Attempting to gain an unfair advantage and personal abuse are Level 2 or 3 offences, while an audible obscenity and disobeying an umpire’s instructions are Level 1 offences.
The maximum penalty for a Level 3 offence has been increased from eight suspension points to 12, which equates to a raise from four Tests or eight ODIs to six Tests or 12 ODIs.
In addition to the new offences, the ICC changed stump microphone guidelines to allow on-field audio to be broadcast at all times, even when the ball is dead.
With an audible obscenity now an offence and stump microphone audio available at all times, it appears as though the ICC are attempting to eradicate foul language completely from the game.
These changes to the Code of Conduct will be adopted later this year, most likely in October.
Ball-tampering has come under the spotlight after the Cape Town incident that saw Australians Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft involved in plotting and carrying out a plan to artificially alter the condition of the ball with a piece of sandpaper.
Smith was suspended by the ICC for one match for "conduct contrary to the spirit of the game", while Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points.
Cricket Australia, after its own investigation, then suspended Smith and Warner for 12 months and Bancroft nine months from international and Australian domestic cricket. In addition, Smith and Bancroft will not be considered for a leadership position for two years, while Warner can never hold a leadership role in Australian cricket again.
Along with harsher penalties and new offences, the ICC will investigate how Member Boards, such as Cricket Australia and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, can be held liable for the behaviour of their players.
The concept would see Member Boards sanctioned when the accumulated number of offences by its players exceed a designated threshold. What those sanctions and thresholds look like are yet to be determined.
The ICC also wants touring teams to be treated like the home side, with the visitors provided training conditions similar conditions to what is expected during the series, which includes practice wickets and net bowlers.
And the ICC says the competing teams should be "provided with the opportunity to mix socially."
The governing body announced it will step in and provide financial support for Zimbabwe Cricket and help develop a plan to provide the African nation stability.
Zimbabwe Cricket is involved in an ongoing pay dispute with its players, which has seen five star players overlooked for the current T20 tri-series against Australia and Pakistan.
Finally, the ICC allowed a representative of the Sri Lankan Sports Minister to sit on the ICC Board and Full Council, but warned Sri Lanka Cricket must hold elections within six months or the ICC will consider its status as a Full Member.