New rules for ball-tampering could come under discussion this week
The process of changing cricket’s regulations on ball-tampering could move forward at a meeting of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) world cricket committee in Mumbai today and tomorrow. According to an MCC release, the agenda’s main items include the size of cricket bats‚ penalties for poor player behaviour‚ the laws of cricket redraft‚ cricket in the Olympics and the structure of the international game.
Would ball-tampering‚ which dominated headlines on South Africa’s tour to Australia after Faf du Plessis was spotted using a mint to help polish the ball‚ be up for discussion?
The practice would seem to fall under player behaviour‚ and as the MCC – the custodians of cricket’s laws – are due to deliver a revised set of the game’s regulations in time for them to be implemented on October 1, the time is ripe.
“The issue of player behaviour is all-encompassing‚ and so are the laws of cricket rewrite‚” the committee’s head of media and communications‚ Neil Priscott‚ said.
“A key point to remember is that the laws must be written for the entire game‚ professional and amateur‚ so our thinking must be geared accordingly.
“All of the above is very much on the MCC’s agenda‚ and although the issue of ball-tampering is being discussed this week I can’t at this stage confirm if the world cricket committee will make a statement on this.”
Du Plessis pleaded not guilty to the charge‚ which was laid by International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson after the second test in Hobart last month.
Match referee Andy Pycroft found Du Plessis guilty‚ fined him 100% of his match fee and docked him three demerit points – one short of what would have meant a ban.
Du Plessis‚ who has said he will appeal‚ insisted he was guilty of ball-shining rather than ball-tampering‚ which he decried.
Australian captain Steve Smith offered Du Plessis support‚ saying: “We, along with every other team around the world, shine the ball the same way.”
Using sugar-soaked saliva to help preserve the ball’s shine is illegal in terms of the current regulations but widespread nonetheless.
South Africa’s Vince van der Bijl‚ a former fast bowler and ICC umpires’ and referees’ manager‚ sits on the MCC committee‚ which is independent and chaired by former England captain Mike Brearley.