ICC pledges to weed out sledging

Published: Monday, March 24, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Mumbai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a 'zero tolerance' crackdown on offensive language and gestures in the sport.

As part of its drive to eradicate 'sledging', the ICC sent a letter to international match officials and the captains and chief executives of full-member teams and top one-day sides calling for their support.

The letter, published by the Hindustan Times newspaper on Monday, has asked all concerned to learn from India's acrimonious tour of Australia recently.

While down under, India's Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds and Australia's Matthew Hayden was reprimanded by his national federation for calling the Indian spinner an 'obnoxious weed'.

"It was announced that ICC would in future be taking a zero tolerance approach to the use of offensive language," the letter stated.

"We acknowledge that every incident is highlighted and sensationalised in the media, often with very little objectivity, but ... there have been several controversial incidents on the field which originated from the use by players of language or gestures which are considered obscene, offensive or insulting."

The ICC verbal exchanges could not be eliminated entirely, so umpires had to decide what they felt were acceptable levels.

"The umpire seeking to lay a charge shall be required to take into account the context of the particular situation and whether the words or gesture are likely to be regarded as obscene, or give offence, or insult another person."


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