March 29 (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) will conduct a wide-ranging review of the players’ code of conduct to curb on-field misdemeanours, chief executive David Richardson said on Thursday.
The announcement comes in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, which resulted in Cricket Australia handing out bans to sacked Australia captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
“What happened down there (in Cape Town) has certainly created additional urgency that something needs to be done as quickly as possible,” Richardson told reporters.
“So with the full support of the board we will be undertaking a wide-ranging review into player conduct and particularly into the spirit in which the game is played in the code of conduct.”
Richardson plans to bring together former and current players along with ICC’s cricket committee, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and match officials to discuss ways to make the spirit of the game a more integral part of the code.
“We envisage getting together a group of people that will be involved - the MCC, ICC’s cricket committee but also players from the past that we think have epitomised the way the game should be played,” Richardson said.
“Players who come in my mind immediately are Allan Border, Anil Kumble, Shaun Pollock, Courtney Walsh, Richie Richardson - they all played with passion and you couldn’t fault their level of aggression.”
Richardson said the cricket committee will also meet to discuss how to achieve consistency in decision-making around the enforcement of the disciplinary code.
“The spirit of the game has been there for a long time but it has not been defined what it means,” he added.
“When it comes to the umpires and referees trying to impose the code, if there is ambiguity there which makes it more difficult for them.
“So underneath that code we need to try and establish and be much clearer on what we mean when we say ‘cricket has to be played according to the spirit of the game’.” (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)