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|Four Indians figure in ICC blacklist|
Tuesday, March 2 2004 14:53 Hrs (IST)
West Indies can give themselves a pat on their back -- not for their show with the bat and ball but for being the only team not to have a charge laid against any of their players.
The black sheep of international cricket were listed by the ICC in a report which lauded the "dramatic drop in on-field incidents" since the introduction of the Code of Conduct.
Pakistan have only one bad boy to worry about, Shoaib Akhtar who had three charges against his name alone. The other Pakistanis to feature in the list are Rashid Latif, who was held guilty once and given a clean chit another time, and Yousuf Youhana.
World champions Australia have four incidents reported against them with vice-captain Adam Gilchrist guilty twice.
The figures, released by ICC show a reduction in violations from 52 in two years prior to introduction of the Code to 31 in 23 months afterwards.
Three of India's charges were laid during the recent Australian series where captain Sourav Ganguly was fined for slow over-rate, Rahul Dravid for applying an illegal substance on the ball and Irfan Pathan for mocking a rival player.
Harbhajan Singh was fined last year for making abusive comment in a One-day match against South Africa at Dhaka.
Former India captain and chairman of ICC's cricket committee (playing) Sunil Gavaskar, among those who had spoken out against declining behaviour, said the new code was having a positive effect.
"Prior to the new code, I was one of many people in the game who were concerned about this issue but over the past two years I think that the introduction of this code and the greater awareness of the issue amongst the players has resulted in considerable improvement in this area," he said.
"The code reflects the reality that players have a responsibility to not just their teams but to all those youngsters watching the game. This trend is a strong indication of the improvement that has taken place."
Of the incidents that saw South Africa players charged, five took place in last October's ill-tempered series in Pakistan.
South Africa all-rounder Andrew Hall was twice found gulity of offences during the same One-day International at the Lahore following altercations with Yousuf Youhana.
Overall last year's One-day and Test series between Pakistan and South Africa was rated the worst in disciplinary terms with seven charges arising. South African captain Graeme Smith and Akhtar were among those found guilty.
The ICC report also said that improved procedures had given players a better chance to defend themselves with four of the 31 acquitted compared to the preceding 52 out of 52 guilty verdicts.
SA emerges as the 'bad boy' of international cricket