The tradition of toss will to stay on during the World Test Championship scheduled to start from July 2019. Also, there will be no points for series wins, but a draw will earn teams a third of the available points. These were the recommendations from the ICC cricket committee, which also said ball-tampering and personal abuse should carry serious penalties. The chief executives committee will deliberate on these suggestions in June before final ratification by the ICC Board.
Here is the lowdown on the most important topics covered by the cricket committee, headed by former India captain Anil Kumble, in a meeting this week.
The toss stays
The ICC has had serious concerns about pitch-doctoring in the recent past and, in an internal paper it prepared on the playing conditions, suggested doing away with the toss to bring balance to the game.
An ICC release on Tuesday said the cricket committee “discussed whether the toss should be automatically awarded to the visiting team but felt that it was an integral part of Test cricket which forms part of the narrative of the game.”
The ICC paper had recommended that the best way to discourage the preparation of unfit pitches would be to award points to the opposition should the match be abandoned. It is not yet clear whether the cricket committee supported such a radical step.
Points for matches, not series
Although the committee did not fix the exact points for wins, losses or draws in the Championship, it wanted draws to be worth a third of the points reserved for a victory.
“Based on the principle of simplicity and every match needing to count,” the ICC release said, “the Committee recommended that points should only be awarded for each match and not a series win. As part of this, it was proposed that there was a draw-win ratio of 0.33:1, so a draw gives each team a third of the available points.”
Heavy sanctions for ball tampering and personal abuse
The “line” wasn’t crossed so much as erased during Australia’s tour of South Africa recently. The ICC was left embarrassed with various players flouting not only the spirt of cricket but also the code of conduct. David Warner, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada were charged for poor behavior in an incident-filled series which culminated in Warner and Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft receiving bans from the ICC and Cricket Australia for ball tampering.
After reviewing those events, the cricket committee voted in favour of raising the sanctions associated with ball-tampering and having penalties for “offensive, personal, insulting, offensive or orchestrated abuse.” It also recommended giving the match referee the authority to “down or upgrade a level of offence or sanction.”
“The group felt that excessive personal abuse and ball tampering were serious offences in the game and that should be reflected in the way in which they are dealt with,” the ICC release said. “There was also strong support for giving the match officials more authority and subsequently greater support around their decision making.”