Free Press Journal

Toss to stay in Tests, ICC sets tough rules for ball tampering


Mumbai : Toss will remain the fundamental starting point of a Test match as the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday decided against abolishing the spin of coin in the game’s traditional format.

Led by the former India captain, the committee made a slew of  recommendations with regards to poor player behaviour, and urged the world cricket’s governing body to take tough measures and restore the “culture of respect” among competing teams and its players.

It also called for greater sanctions for indulging in ball tampering.

“The committee discussed whether the toss should be automatically awarded to the visiting team but felt that it was an integral part of Test cricket which forms part of the narrative of the game,” the ICC stated in a release.

However, the committee, also comprising former international captains such as Mike Gatting, Mahela Jayawardene, current international coach Mike Hesson (New Zealand) and former Australia opener and match referee David Boon, agreed that host nations should prepare quality pitches keeping the World Test Championship in mind.

“Acknowledging that the preparation of Test pitches that could provide a risk to the competitiveness of the ICC World Test Championship, the Committee urged Members to continue to focus on the delivery of pitches that provide a better balance between bat and ball in line with ICC regulations.”

The bulk of the time over the last two days was spent in discussing poor players’ behaviour that has plagued the game for quite some time along with issues like ball tampering, which saw Australia’s captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner being suspended for one year due to their involvement in the scandal in South Africa. Kumble said: “We had an excellent discussion around the issue of player behavior.”

Suggestions with regards to Code of Conduct include:

1) Raising the sanctions associated with ball tampering.

2) Creating a new offence for offensive, personal, insulting, offensive or orchestrated abuse

3) The consideration of the introduction of a new offence of attempting to gain an unfair advantage

4) Creating a Code of Respect

5) Match referee to have the authority to downgrade or upgrade a level of offence or sanction.

The committee also recommended a change in points system to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee. It recommended that points should only be awarded for each match and not a series win. It was proposed that there was a draw-win ratio of 0.33:1, so a draw gives each team a third of the available points.