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Red cards recommended for cricket

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 07-12-2016 skysports.com
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The MCC World Cricket committee has recommended that sending-offs be introduced into the laws of the game. 

Members of the committee want umpires to be given the power to remove cricketers from a game for serious disciplinary breaches, including "threatening an umpire" and "physically assaulting another player, umpire, official or spectator" or "any other act of violence on the field of play".

The recommendation is subject to approval by the main MCC Committee but members decided to suggest the measure, saying cricket is one of the few sports which does not support "in-match punishment" and said poor behaviour in the recreational game was putting off umpires.

It is hoped that giving umpires the ability to send cricketers off would deter poor behaviour, while members also said it was "unrealistic" to believe that all captains would discipline offending players where umpires had no jurisdiction to act over poor conduct.

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A statement said: "The World Cricket committee believes that the game must now include a mechanism to deal with the worst disciplinary offences during the match, and not subsequent to it as is presently the case.

"If approved, the ability to send a player off would therefore come into effect at all levels of the game from 1st October 2017.

"The committee debated sanctions for lesser offences - including run penalties and sin bins - but did not believe anything should be introduced to the Laws, where it would be harder to achieve consistency of application around the world.

"However, MCC will look to devise such a system as an appendix to the Laws which governing bodies or leagues may wish to implement within their own playing regulations."

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The committee, which met in Mumbai on December 6 and 7 also debated the possibility of introducing a trial of four-day Test matches, "in an attempt to streamline the cricketing calendar" but said it was split on a recommendation with pros and cons discussed.

Those arguing for suggested that there would be greater crowds likely in grounds and more viewers on television for the last two days of the matches and said that play would be likely to change to a more attacking style, which might help with dwindling crowds in some countries.

They also said four-day matches would allow a clearer schedule for fans, players and broadcasters and argued that "shorter tours would mean that less cricket would need to take place out of each country's regular season, meaning fewer rain interruptions".

However, those against said it could lead to more 'manufactured' games, with declaration bowling and cheap runs on offer and argued that it increased the likelihood of more drawn matches, especially those that are rain-affected.

The committee said it planned to revisit the subject at its next meeting in July next year. It also re-iterated its stance that cricket should embrace the concept of playing T20 in the Olympic Games and said no changes should be made to the law on ball tampering.

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