London: In a development which could have far-reaching consequences, misbehaving cricketers will be sent off or immediately penalised five runs under new rules being trialled by the MCC.
After a worldwide consultation in 2015, the Lord’s-based MCC, which is charged with overseeing the Laws of Cricket, came to the consensus that umpires felt they would be better empowered to deal with on-field troublemakers if they could take action during the match, rather than retrospectively.
Under the proposed laws — to be trialled in leagues, schools and MCC Universities in the UK – players could in effect be shown a red card for threatening umpires, any act of violence or language that is deemed to seriously offend another person based on discrimination.
Yellow cards resulting in automatic sin bins of up to 10 minutes could also be in use for intimidation of umpires and threats of assault against opposition players. Each send-off or sin-bin offence would also result in a five-run penalty.
“It was felt that now was a good time to review this whole area and perhaps try and find leagues, competitions and schools willing to trial means that act as a deterrent,” Fraser Stewart, the MCC’s head of Laws, told The Telegraph (UK).
The decision to introduce the scheme to professional cricket has to be made by the relevant national boards and the International Cricket Council, but they could follow suit if the MCC trial is deemed a success.