Punishment to include bans of up to four Tests or eight ODIs
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is all set to increase the penalty for ball-tampering offences in the upcoming annual meeting, which is scheduled to take place from June 27-July 3 in Dublin, Ireland.
Ball-tampering is one of the most talked about point in the world of cricket since March this year when Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera using an out of the field object on the ball in the third Test of the South Africa tour.
Following that incident, captain Steven Smith accepted leadership group’s role in the incident, which included Smith, Bancroft and Australia vice-captain David Warner.
Even though Smith, Warner and Bancroft received 12 and nine-month bans respectively from Cricket Australia, there punishment from ICC came under scrutiny.
After that controversy, Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was also found guilty of ball-tampering in the second Test against West Indies, which led him to face a one-Test ban.
According to the current set of rules, ball-tampering is a level-two offence and as per the rules, a player can only be penalised for a maximum of one Test or two ODIs if found guilty of altering the conditions of the ball.
But that is expected to change in the near future as with new rules and regulations in place, players will face bans of two to four Tests or four to eight ODIs if found guilty of wrongdoings with the ball.
In the annual meeting, matters regarding the use of two balls in ODIs will also be discussed in detail.
The move was criticised by former cricketers — including Indian great Sachin Tendulkar — after England scored the highest score in the 50-over format of 481 against Australia in the recently concluded five-match series.
However, it is believed that even if there will be a changes in the rules of ODI cricket, it will only come in effect after 2019 World Cup.
Zimbabwe Cricket financial matters will also be discussed in the meeting as there were reports that players were threatening to boycott the upcoming T20I Tri-Series — which includes Australia and Pakistan — over non-payment from the board.
(Edited by Azeem Siddiqui)