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ICC ensures stricter punishment for breach of cricketing conduct

The decision was taken in light of the scandalous ball-tampering fiasco that was unearthed during the Australia versus South Africa Test match.

Steve Smith & Cameron Bancroft News - Deep Dasgupta
Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft of Australia. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The entire cricketing fraternity was engulfed in shock after the scandalous event of ball-tampering in the Australia versus South Africa Test match came to the fore. In light of the event, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has ensured stricter measures for any breach in cricketing conduct that could bring about disrepute on the spirit of the game. The decision was taken and announced on the final day of a week of ICC meetings in Kolkata.

In what can only be termed as a gross violation of cricketing spirit, Australian skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, along with Cameron Bancroft were found to have been involved in ball-tampering against South Africa and subsequently owned up to their activities. As a consequence, Warner and Smith have been handed with year-long bans from all forms of international cricket. Bancroft, on his part, has been suspended from the game for nine months.

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ICC promises tougher sanctions from hereon

In addition to signing on a new Future Tours Programme (FTP), the ICC Code of Conduct review was discussed at length throughout the ICC meet week in Kolkata. Both the ICC Board and Member Chief Executives are committed and united to address player behaviour.

A unanimous intent to opt for stricter and heavier sanctions for ball tampering and other offences which were indicative of a lack of respect, including abusive language, send-offs and dissent to an umpire’s decision, was noted throughout. Further, the prospect of creating a culture of respect that embodies the spirit of cricket on and off the field of play was also discussed.

Speaking about the decisions that had been taken in the meetings, ICC CEO David Richardson expressed the collective intent for stricter regulations and said, “The Code of Conduct review is a crucial piece of work and my fellow Board directors and I are committed to seeing an improvement in player behaviour and ensuring a culture of respect across our sport. We will consider tougher sanctions as we work to create a culture of respect.”

Elucidating further on the issue, Richardson added, “The message from everyone gathered in Kolkata was loud and clear – we must act to create a culture of respect that protects the integrity of the sport. We all have a responsibility to the game and its fans and the strength of feeling around the board table today means we have a unique opportunity to improve the behaviour and culture across cricket. We are currently in the process of confirming the individuals to support us on this review and they will meet alongside the Cricket Committee in May and make recommendations to the Board in June.”

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