New ICC codes maintain cricket?s unique spirit
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Three new codes designed to maintain and promote cricket’s unique spirit of fair play and multiculturalism have recently come into effect at international level.
A revised ICC Code of Conduct, a brand-new ICC Anti-Racism Code and a robust, stand-alone ICC Anti-Corruption Code have all now been implemented following a comprehensive consultation and review process with all stakeholders.
“The Spirit of Cricket is a concept that we often talk about and reflect upon,” said ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat.
“I have no doubt that our players and other stakeholders support the concept. However, it is important we do not merely pay lip service to it but cherish it as a real and tangible asset that our great sport enjoys. These codes help to copper-fasten that unique spirit by effectively laying out what behaviour is acceptable and what is not, not just by players but by everyone involved in the game.
“These codes are practical, workable and user-friendly while also acting as genuine deterrents to anyone who seeks to undermine the integrity of cricket. With their implementation we are helping to protect the game for future generations to enjoy,” said Mr Lorgat.
ICC Code of Conduct
The enhanced new code has been adopted as a part of the ICC’s continuing commitment to maintaining the best possible participant behaviour, ensuring that everyone involved in the playing of the game conducts themselves in accordance with the spirit as well as the laws of the game.
In the first instance the code acts as an effective deterrent to any participant – player or player-support personnel – from conducting themselves improperly on and off the field. It also provides a robust and fair disciplinary procedure to deal with instances where participants overstep the mark of what is acceptable.
The new code streamlines the existing hearing process for minor offences and creates an incentive in those cases for players to plead guilty at an early stage, thus enabling less serious breaches to be processed without the need for a formal hearing.
The code also introduces a new range of sanctions, which incorporates weighted “suspension points” in an attempt to address sanctioning difficulties caused by the increased specialisation of players in different formats of the game.
In recognition of the fact that match referees do not necessarily have the required legal training to deal with complex cases, all Level 3 and 4 cases and appeals will be dealt with by an independent member of the ICC’s Code of Conduct Commission. And in order to deter frivolous and/or tactical appeals, all decisions made by a match referee will remain in force until an appeal is properly determined.
Moreover, sanctions for minimum over-rate breaches have been increased so as to deter such practices. In particular, captains of teams who commit three minor over-rate breaches in a 12-month period will be automatically suspended for one game.
ICC Anti-Racism Code
Part of cricket’s attraction and strength is its diversity of culture and race. In order to demonstrate the seriousness with which the ICC views racist or religiously offensive conduct, this robust stand-alone code has been devised.
The cornerstone of this practical and sensible code is the voluntary mediation process that is offered to help cricketers settle any conflicts amicably between themselves. It is felt that alleged issues of racism across the wide range of cultures that make up cricket’s group of stakeholders may arise out of confusion, misunderstanding, ignorance or language and translation barriers.
In those cases, provided both parties agree, it is felt that the best way to resolve these issues is through a non-adversarial process such as a conciliation with an expert in the field. If that fails to resolve the matter satisfactorily for all parties, then a disciplinary process would be initiated and tough sanctions could be applied.
ICC Anti-Corruption Code
The ICC is a world leader in the area of anti-corruption in sport and despite the huge strides taken to combat this threat to cricket it remains an issue of the utmost seriousness. As a reflection of that continued commitment to keep corruption out of the game, the anti-corruption provisions in the old ICC Code of Conduct have been removed, reviewed, developed and enhanced in a new, stand-alone anti-corruption code.
This new code is perhaps the most comprehensive regulatory framework to address issues of corruption in any sport in the world. It provides important support to the activities of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) by requiring players to report approaches or invitations to act in a corrupt manner and to co-operate fully with investigations being carried out by the ACSU.
The main part of the code is split into three sections dealing with offences of corruption, betting and the misuse of inside information.
The code also sets out a detailed charging and hearing process which preserves the players’ right to a fair and impartial hearing before a specifically convened tribunal and a final appeal right to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It is important to stress that investigations conducted under the code and the activities of the ACSU will remain strictly confidential and it will remain ICC policy not to comment publicly on those activities.
The force of the code is intended to deter players from compromising the integrity of the sport. Players who are found guilty of such offences can expect to serve long suspension periods and face hefty fines.
All three codes officially came into effect last month. The full enhanced codes are available for download on the ICC website at: http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/rules_and_regulations.php.