ICC brings in tougher ball-tampering sanctions
Dubai [United Arab Emirates], July 3 (ANI): Imposing tougher sanctions on players found guilty of ball-tampering, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that the offenders could now be banned for up to six Test matches or 12 one-day internationals. Earlier, there was a provision of one-Test match ban on the players found guilty of ball-tampering. The decision came after the ICC concluded its five-day Annual Conference in Dublin with strong support for strengthening the ICC Code of Conduct and a range of new offences. A plan for stabilizing the financial, cricket and management structures at the ZimbabweCricket was also agreed. Reflecting on the sanctions introduced, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said that the committee is committed to improve player's behaviour and reclaim cricket's unique proposition. "I'd like to thank the Cricket Committee and the Chief Executives for their commitment to improving player behaviour in the game and supporting the introduction of new offences and greater sanctions," Richardson said. "There is a clear desire here to reclaim cricket's unique proposition as a game that people can trust in and for us all to live the spirit of cricket in a way that is relevant in the 21st century," he added. Among other changes, the match referees will now hear Level 1, 2 and 3 charges with a Judicial Commissioner only hearing Level 4 charges and appeals. Players or support staff wanting to appeal a decision will now be required to lodge an appeal fee in advance which will be fully refundable if the appeal is successful. Stump microphone guidelines will also be changed to allow the stump microphone audio to be broadcast at any time, including when the ball is dead. The board also agreed to consider how member boards can be held liable for its players' behavior with appropriate sanctions to be imposed on boards when the accumulated number of offences by its players exceeds certain thresholds. All of the above will be incorporated into the Code of Conduct for adoption later this year. The ICC board agreed a package of measures to enable Zimbabwe Cricket to stabilize its business and allow cricket to flourish in the country. Zimbabwe Cricket have now complied with a number of conditions recently set by the ICC Board in relation to their financial situation. The board confirmed a rearrangement of Zimbabwe Cricket's funding that will assist with the service of its existing debts, whilst the remainder of the funding will only be released on a controlled basis. The ICC management will work with Zimbabwe Cricket to develop a plan for managing its cricketing, management and financial structures which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. The board also agreed to allow a representative of the Sri Lankan Sports Minister to sit as an observer to the ICC Board and Full Council, but requested that elections for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are held within six months, failing which SLC's Membership status would be considered. Chief Executives' Committee also agreed to make changes to the way tours are conducted as part of a collective effort to build a culture of respect in the game. This includes the philosophy that the touring team should be treated as guests in the country with the standard of accommodation, travel and catering equal to that which the home team receives. The visiting team should also be provided with an opportunity to prepare for upcoming international matches under similar conditions to those they will play in during the series including the same standard and variety of net bowlers and training pitches. Teams should also be provided with the opportunity to mix socially. Speaking about the conference, ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said that the meeting was productive and all the recommendations were unanimously supported by the members of the board. "It has been a productive week of meetings here in Dublin and it has been good to have all ICC Members in attendance at our 75th Annual Conference. I and my fellow Board directors were unanimous in supporting the recommendations of the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives' Committee to drive improved behavior across our sport," Manohar said. "I was delighted to welcome Indra Nooyi, our first independent female director to the Board and would like to thank her for her excellent contributions this week. The decision by my fellow directors to bring an independent director onto the Board was an important one and one, that with Indra in place, will be good for the game," he added. Imran Khwaja, Chairman of the Associate Members, was unanimously voted by the Board to continue in his post as ICC Vice-Chairman following his re-election as associate representative earlier this week. The playing conditions for the World Test Championship were approved by the Chief Executives' Committee (CEC). This includes the points structure which was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee and the provision of a reserve day to enable any time lost through bad weather to be made up for the final. The full playing conditions will be drafted over the coming weeks and published in due course. The CEC also confirmed that whilst all World Test Championship games must be 5-day Test matches, four day Tests can continue to be played by Members. It was agreed, in light of the recent decision to award international status to all women's T20 matches played between ICC Members after 1 July 2018, to retrospectively grant all matches at the recent Women's T20 Asia Cup T20I status. All Member men's senior teams will be awarded T20I status on 1 January 2019 following the cut-off point for qualification to the ICC World T20 2020. Rankings for women and men will be introduced in October 2018 and May 2019 respectively as part of the ICC's commitment to growing the game through its shortest format.
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