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Coming soon: Football-style ‘sending off’ for cricketers

Come October 1, 2017, we could see football-style sending offs for players from a cricket field for “serious disciplinary breaches”.

During its two-day (December 6, 7) meeeting in Mumbai, the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) World Cricket Committee has recommended that the umpires be given powers to eject players from the field of play for indiscipline. MCC is the guardian of the Laws of the game.

“The MCC World Cricket committee recommends that umpires be given the power to eject cricketers from a game for serious disciplinary breaches,” MCC said on Wednesday (December 7) after the meeting, which was attended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur, former India captain Sourav Ganguly and other members of the committee.

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, one of the members of the committee, too was part of the meeting. “Subject to approval by the main MCC Committee, the new code of the Laws of Cricket will include a stipulation that umpires can remove a player from the field for the following – threatening an umpire, physically assaulting another player, umpire, official or spectator; any other act of violence on the field of play,” it added. It further stated, “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.” In football, a player is show yellow card for first offence and a second infringement means a red card which ends his stay on the field. Further, football players face suspensions from their next match after a red-card offence.

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