The ICC Cricket Committee recently convened in Mumbai for a two-day meeting to discuss several reforms. One of the decisions taken was that the match officials should have more authority during a game to improve player behaviour.The move comes on the back of questionable on-field behaviour of players in recent times. The penalties for ball-tampering was also discussed and it was agreed that stricter punishments need to be put in place.The Cricket Committee recommended giving greater authority and support to match officials. They created a Code of Respect, granting the match referee the authority to downgrade or upgrade a level of offence of sanction.The committee, headed by former India captain Anil Kumble, also sought clear expectations for the treatment of visiting teams.
“We had an excellent discussion around the issue of player behaviour and I’d like to thank Mike Gatting and David Boon for joining us and making valuable contributions,” said Kumble.“The Committee echoed the sentiments of the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and the ICC Board, and, as such, we have made a series of recommendations as part of the creation of a culture of respect we can all adhere to.“The group felt that excessive personal abuse and ball tampering were serious offences in the game and that should be reflected in the way in which they are dealt with. There was also strong support for giving the match officials more authority and subsequently greater support around their decision making.”The committee also discussed the problem of home teams doctoring pitches to suit them. They even discussed the possibilities of scrapping the coin toss to negate the pitch disadvantage. Their solution was to give the visiting team the choice to decide. But the consensus was that the toss is an ‘integral part of Test cricket’s narrative.’Previously, the ICC paper recommended that World Championship points could be awarded to the visitors in the event of a match abandonment due to a bad pitch.