Yellow cards to be used in cricket?

on November 17, 2008 by Administrator

We are all familiar with the concept of red and yellow cards in the world of football. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a football match without them, particularly when certain Premier League referees, who shall remain nameless (after all, we should all be doing our bit to help the FA’s Respect campaign!) are in charge. However, we are not at all familiar with the concept in relation to the sport of cricket.

This week, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced that it is going to consider the idea of introducing yellow cards in an effort to bring an end to bad behaviour during matches. It will meet with the MCC, which controls the rules and regulations of cricket and minor county and club level games could see yellow cards as part of a trial of the idea.

If successful at this level, the “first-class game” could see the cards used in the near future. These words were spoken by Giles Clarke, the chief of the ECB, who also revealed that “abuse has to be stopped”. Yellow cards could be given to players who abuse an umpire during a game or display excessive sledging.

Some sections of the sporting media have been sceptical about the potential introduction of yellow cards in the game. However, Giles Clarke believes that poor behaviour on the field of play can be sorted out by the scheme.

He used rugby as an example to highlight his views. In rugby, a player is removed from the pitch for a total of ten minutes (which is an eighth of the game). In a game of cricket, Clarke believes a player “could go off for twelve overs”.

The views of Clarke have been echoed by both Jack Simmons, the chairman of the ECB, and Mike Griffith, the chairman of the MCC. Dennis Amiss, an influential member of the ECB, believes that yellow cards may actually add something to the game of cricket.

When Amiss was a player, he became frustrated by the inclination of the Australian players “to sledge”. He believes that the game must be moved forward continually and, although he does not wish to see red cards in the world of cricket, he believes that yellow cards may “add to the drama of a match”.

Although there does seem to be some kind of support from the MCC for the yellow card scheme, Neil Priscott, a spokesman, has revealed that the story is not that straightforward. Rather, the MCC has been “asked to look at the scheme and offer support” but discussions have not yet officially been held, so it is still too “early to say that we do or don’t support it”.

Despite this confusion over the stance of the MCC, Charles Fry, who is an important part of the cricket committee, has stated publicly that the behaviour seen in “league cricket is absolutely awful” and regrets the fact that there are currently “no penalties” to dissuade players from behaving badly. Fry believes that anything that may potentially improve the disciplinary situation must be tried.

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