Tampering with the ball could now lead to a ban of up to six Tests or 12 ODIs after the International Cricket Council (ICC) made it a level 3 transgression besides adding obscenity and personal abuse to the list of offenses in a bid to ensure better behavior on the field.
At the end of its annual conference in Dublin, the world body came up with its plan to curb unruly behavior on the field that has been under the scanner for a while now in the ‘gentlemen’s game’. Upgrading ball-tampering from a level 2 to a level 3 offense has come in the wake of the row earlier this year when Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
The ICC Board also agreed on measures to enable Zimbabwe Cricket to stabilize its business and allow cricket to flourish in the country. The ICC management will work with Zimbabwe Cricket to develop a plan for managing its cricketing, management and financial structures which will be reviewed regularly.
The ICC Board also recommended the introduction of offenses covering personal abuse (Level 2, 3), audible obscenity (Level 1) and disobeying umpire’s instructions (Level 1). “Attempting to gain an unfair advantage (cheating, other than ball-tampering) will now be considered a Level 2 or 3 offense,”.
Under the existing Code of Conduct back in March, the ICC had fined Smith for one Test and that had led to calls for a tougher punishment. “I’d like to thank the Cricket Committee and the Chief Executives for their commitment to improving player behavior in the game and supporting the introduction of new offenses and greater sanctions,” said ICC chief executive Dave Richardson after the five-day meet.
Besides, the ICC agreed to allow a representative of the Sri Lankan Sports Minister to sit as an observer to its Board and Full Council. The ICC requested that elections for Sri Lanka Cricket are held within six months, failing which SLC’s Membership status would be considered.