ICC cracks down on ~~war of words~~ in cricket

Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The International Cricket Council (ICC) pledged to crack down on verbal sparring during international matches, saying it did not want to see the game reduced to a "hooligan sport".

"There are a growing number of incidents of verbal exchanges on the field and they are concerning for us," ICC President Ehsan Mani told reporters on Monday.

"We don't want cricket being reduced to a level where it turns into a hooligan sport."

Mani, who was in Lahore to witness the ongoing One-day series between Pakistan and England, said the ICC's main goal was to keep the spirit of the game intact.

The ICC also released a statement from its headquarters in Dubai on Sunday, singling out Australia and South Africa as the worst trash talkers, ahead of their three-match Test series later this month.

The statement said there had been a "spate of code of conduct reports", and that the ICC was concerned about the escalating "war of words".

The ICC has a code of conduct in place, implemented in 2001, which penalises players and officials for their on- and off-field behaviour.

If anyone is found breaking the codes, it can lead to both fines and suspensions.

According to the ICC figures, eight players and officials have been found guilty of breaching the code of conduct since November, twice the number of violations as compared with the same period last year.

On the year, 38 players and officials have been accused of violating the code of conduct, as compared with a total of 37 charges in the whole of 2004.

Mani said however that the menace of match-fixing has been handled properly.

"I would say that we have curbed the match fixing at the international level. I don't say there is no corruption in cricket, but there may be involvement at the individual level," said Mani, refusing to elaborate.

Mani said the super-sub rule in one-day cricket would be reviewed in February next year, and noted that the ICC's procedures for handling bowlers with suspect action were working well.

"We have a set process of dealing with illegal bowlers. Pakistan may have been badly hit because of reports on five bowlers, but they need to deal with such bowlers at a young age," he said.

Two Pakistani bowlers, Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik, were reported for suspect actions in the first Test against England last month.

Ahmed, whose action was reported for a second time when the current process was implemented in February this year, faces a one-year ban.

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