Show respect to spirit of game, appeals ICC

Published: Thursday, July 13, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:After deciding not to implement the trial that would have allowed players a limited number of appeals to the third umpire against an on-field official's decision, the ICC has called on cricketers to show greater respect to the spirit of the game by walking when aware that they are out and being honest about close catches and knicks.

''I call on all players to take this opportunity to confirm their respect for the spirit of the game and support the umpires, not with words but with actions,'' ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said in a statement.

Mr Speed said Elite Panel umpires -- despite being the best in the world -- would make mistakes but players can make their job easier by being honest in close situations and by showing respect to the opposition.

''Cricket's reputation is built on its values. But wouldn't it be great if cricket could build on this still further so that it can increase its reputation as the most noble of games? ''And that could happen if even more players could embody the sport's traditions by walking, by accepting the word of the fielder on disputed catches and by showing greater respect for their opponents and the umpires,'' he said.

The ICC Chief Executive believes the Executive Board's decision to preserve the primacy of the on-field umpires can be used to build on the sport's already-high reputation for sportsmanship.

''The Board has sent an important message to players from the international arena to grass the roots, that cricket values its traditions, especially fair play and respect for umpires,'' he said.

He said cricketers should keep in mind the importance of setting an example for the future generations and not make disputing an umpire's decision a ''fashionable trend.'' ''We don't want the next generation of cricketers, who are taking guard for the first time in schools and clubs around the world, to think that walking is a sign of weakness, that intimidating appealing is acceptable,'' he explained.

He also called on the media to not to magnify an umpire's error by the use of technology during telecasts.

''It is not just the players that should take heed of this decision (to reject the additional use of technology).

Administrators, broadcasters, the media and the public at large should (also) consider the spirit of Cricket,'' he said.

Mr Speed felt the umpires were doing their best under tough conditions and intense scrutiny and any occasional error should be accepted as part of the game.

''When they do make mistakes (and on the basis of this decision by the Executive Board) it is our duty to accept it. It is part of the fabric of the game,'' he added.

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