Sendings-off approved by lawmakers as cricket moves to oust misconduct

Ross McLean
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Fifth Test - Australia v England: Day Four
Source: Getty

Cricketers run the risk of being sent from the field of play under new rules, approved by the game’s lawmakers the MCC yesterday, which are aimed at removing poor behaviour from the sport.

Player offences will be measured across four levels; the lowest being for indiscretions such as excessive appealing or showing dissent at an umpire’s decision and the gravest being the threatening of an umpire or any act of violence.

Lower level transgressions would result in an official warning and a repeat offence the concession of five penalty runs, while the more heinous acts of misconduct would see an individual removed for the remainder of the match.

“We felt the time had come to introduce sanctions for poor player behaviour and research told us that a growing number of umpires at grassroots level were leaving the game because of it,” said MCC head of cricket John Stephenson.

There is also the option for players to be temporarily sent from the field. A level three offence – intimidating an umpire and threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator – would be worthy of expulsion for a set number of overs.

Included in the laws which will come into effect from 1 October, batsmen will no longer be run out if their bat loses contact with the turf after being grounded behind the crease.

The MCC have also added specific size limitations to the edge and depth of bats in a bid to redress the balance of the battle between bat and ball.