ICC Brings Tougher Sanctions For Ball Tampering & Personal Abuse

Following a spate of negative incidents on the cricket field recently, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has strengthened its Code of Conduct to improve the standards of the game like never before.

The ICC has listed new offences under its Code of Conduct, each one punishable via a fine, suspension or both.

Ball tampering has been categorized as a level-3 offence whereas personal abuse is level-1 offence in the eyes of the cricket law.

ICC has introduced three levels of sanctions (Level 1, 2 and 3) which will be decided by the match referees on the basis of the offence committed by a player.

Additionally, here are the things which were discussed by the ICC board members:

  • The maximum sanction for a Level 3 offence has been increased from 8 suspension points to 12 suspension points (equivalent to 6 Test matches or 12 ODIs).
  • Match referees will now hear Level 1, 2 and 3 charges with a Judicial Commissioner only hearing Level 4 charges and appeals.
  • Players or support staff wanting to appeal a decision will now be required to lodge an appeal fee in advance which will be fully refundable if the appeal is successful.
  • Stump microphone guidelines will also be changed to allow the stump microphone audio to be broadcast at any time, including when the ball is dead.

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said:

It has been a productive week of meetings here in Dublin and it has been good to have all ICC Members in attendance at our 75th Annual Conference. I and my fellow Board directors were unanimous in supporting the recommendations of the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives’ Committee to drive improved behavior across our sport.

It is vital that there is a strong deterrent to both players and administrators to ensure we have high standards of conduct in our game. We have more than a billion fans and we must not give any of them any reason to doubt the high levels of integrity within our sport.

Code of Conduct

The ICC Board fully supported the Chief Executives’ Committee and Cricket Committee recommended changes to the Code of Conduct. This includes the introduction of the following new offences and the change in level of some existing offences.

Offence Level
Attempting to gain and unfair advantage (cheating, other than ball-tampering * 2, 3
Personal abuse * 2, 3
Audible obscenity * 1
Disobeying an umpire’s instructions * 1
Changing the condition of the ball 3 (from 2)

*denotes new offence

The Board also agreed to consider how Member Boards can be held liable for its players’ behavior with appropriate sanctions to be imposed on boards when the accumulated number of offences by its players exceed certain thresholds. All of the above will be incorporated into the Code of Conduct for adoption later this year.


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CEC also agreed to make changes to the way tours are conducted as part of a collective effort to build a culture of respect in the game. This includes the philosophy that the touring team should be treated as guests in the country with the standard of accommodation, travel and catering equal to that which the home team receives.

The visiting team should also be provided with an opportunity to prepare for upcoming international matches under similar conditions to those they will play in during the series including the same standard and variety of net bowlers and training pitches. Teams should also be provided with the opportunity to mix socially.

Sanctioning of Events

The ICC Working Group was set up to look at the sanctioning of events and player release held their first in-person meeting whilst in Dublin. The objectives of the group include:

  • Preserving the value of international cricket and its status as the pinnacle of cricket competition ensuring that the best players are available to play international cricket
  • Preserving the importance of domestic T20 competition as a key means of developing and promoting the game globally in a way that complements but does not compromise international cricket
  • Ensuring the proper organization and conduct of the sport, including ensuring events are played according to a single set of rules and to set minimum standards on operational matters
  • Protecting player health, safety and welfare, including that a player’s workload is not overloaded and that players play in safe conditions, secure in the knowledge that their contractual arrangements are safeguarded
  • Protecting the integrity of the sport
  • Protecting the grassroots development of the game and the game’s position as a community service provider, including ensuring that revenues generated from events are reinvested in the game, especially in grassroots development and facilities, encouraging the development of home-grown players, and acknowledging that there are a finite number of possible playing dates in the calendar

The group, which comprises a number of Member Chief Executives and representatives of FICA, will prepare a draft set of regulations for consideration by the ICC Board in October.

World Test Championship

The playing conditions for the World Test Championship were approved by the Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC). This includes the points structure which was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee and the provision of a reserve day to enable any time lost through bad weather to be made up for the final. The full playing conditions will be drafted over the coming weeks and published in due course.

The CEC also confirmed that whilst all World Test Championship games must be 5-day Test matches, four day Tests can continue to be played by Members.

2018 Women’s T20 Asia Cup

It was agreed, in light of the recent decision to award international status to all women’s T20 matches played between ICC Members after 1 July 2018, to retrospectively grant all matches at the recent Women’s T20 Asia Cup T20I status. All Member men’s senior teams will be awarded T20I status on 1 January 2019 following the cut-off point for qualification to the ICC World T20 2020.

Rankings for women and men will be introduced in October 2018 and May 2019 respectively as part of the ICC’s commitment to growing the game through its shortest format.

Sports Analyst & Head of Sports Desk.


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