Sending off could be coming to cricket


A desire for more "in-match punishment" has led the MCC World Cricket committee to recommend that umpires be permitted to send players off.

The committee raised concerns over a lack of in-match punishment for poor behaviour, which is presently dealt with retrospectively, though captains have the option to ask a player to leave the field.

A statement released following a two-day meeting in Mumbai, which was attended by International Cricket Committee chief executive David Richardson, read: "Subject to approval by the main MCC Committee, the new code of the Laws of Cricket will include a stipulation that umpires can remove a player from the field for the following:

- Threatening an umpire,
- Physically assaulting another player, umpire, official or spectator;
- Any other act of violence on the field of play.

"The World Cricket committee believes that the game must now include a mechanism to deal with the worst disciplinary offences during the match, and not subsequent to it as is presently the case.

"If approved, the ability to send a player off would therefore come into effect at all levels of the game from 1st October 2017."

The 12-person panel was split on the possibility of introducing four-day Test matches and hopes to hear thoughts from those involved in the game before returning to the issue during its next meeting in July.

The committee reaffirmed its belief that Twenty20 cricket should feature at the Olympic Games in order to help the growth of the sport.

"With the prospect of applying to become a participating sport for 2024 still on the table, the committee encourages the ICC to work as hard as possible to see the game introduced to the Olympics," the statement added.

"The committee is encouraged to hear that a strategy is being written by ICC to look at the development of the game in both the US and China, but believes that the single most effective way cricket can grow around the world is by being included in the Olympics.

"The committee therefore asks all members of the ICC to work together to present its case for inclusion to the IOC [International Olympic Committee]."

Among the committees other recommendations were to implement limitations on bat edges and depths and an amendment that would permit catches and stumpings "after the ball has struck a fielder's worn helmet".