Cricket set to get red card
Red cards are to be introduced in cricket matches at all levels from park pitches to internationals in an effort to stamp out the rising number of violent incidents in games.
The MCC's world cricket committee has recommended that umpires should have the power to send off players in cases of threats to an umpire or physical assault on a player, umpire, official or spectator. The punishment is set to come into force from October, when the MCC redrafts the Laws of Cricket.
At the moment violence is mainly confined to amateur cricket but the new law will also apply to the international game. It was reported in February that the MCC planned to pilot the use of red and yellow cards in club cricket after a rise in the number of incidents in England. Yellow cards and a sin-bin were also discussed by the cricket committee but were thought harder to implement consistently.
"This is a pretty drastic change to the Laws," said Mike Brearley, the chairman of the MCC's world cricket committee. "Evidence from people familiar with leagues in certain parts of England says behaviour has got a lot worse. Umpires have to be respected and given the best possible chance."
Cricket is the only game apart from Australian Rules football in which there isn't this possibility of an in-match deterrent.
"I think you call (cricket) a game that you play hard and play fair. The Spirit of Cricket is represented by that. That does not include hitting someone over the back of the head with a bat or punching them. This is for use in extreme cases."
The MCC cricket committee, which met in Mumbai, has also recommended limits to the size of bats, but rejected changing the ball-tampering law, despite players calling for clarity after South Africa's Faf du Plessis was found guilty of tampering after rubbing saliva from sucking a mint on the ball. (© Daily Telegraph, London)