On Thursday the International Cricket Council (ICC) implemented some changes to their rules. For some reason or another, they felt that some teams had received unfair advantage by being "unsportsman like"
The ICC feel they have minimised this advantage by adding a new grading system to their punishments. Depending on the severity of the antic on the pitch, umpires are now officially allowed to send players off.
Levels 1-3 can be dealt with by the umpire, while the game is playing. To be sent off the field, players have to commit a level 4 offence. Which, like most contact sports, includes offences such as physically assaulting other players or the umpire.
So how long did it take for a player to break these new rules?
Well, Queensland Bulls player Marcus Labushagne managed to fall foul within a day.
In the field during a JLT One-Day Cup clash against Cricket Australia XI, replays showed Labushagne reach towards the ball, before pretending to pick it up and throw it towards the stumps - see the video below.
This "fake fielding" nearly fooled the batsmen, who stumbled and thought twice about making the run. It is a trick that has been seen before, both in professional and amateur cricket. But now, if it is used to try and gain an unfair advantage, it is a punishable offence.
After all the commotion of what had just happened, the umpires met and discussed the incident. An incident the commentators had barely even picked up on, they simply mocked that the fielder may have better luck throwing the ball next time.
An incident the commentators had barely even picked up on, they simply mocked that the fielder may have better luck throwing the ball next time.
The umpire put his hand in the air signalling a "five" and then proceeded to tap his opposite shoulder, signaling a five-run penalty to the Bulls.
This was the first example of the penalty system brought in place by the ICC, does it seem fair? Will cricket improve under these new guidelines? Let us know in the comments below!
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