Player behaviour February 10, 2016

MCC to trial sendings off and sin bins

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad might both have been sent off for their clash at Perth in 1981 © PA Photos

MCC has announced plans to trial sendings off and sin bins to curb the increasing levels of player indiscipline in recreational cricket, including excessive sledging and a rise in violent behaviour.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the proposals range from a five-run penalty for minor infringements such as time-wasting or dissent, through to ten-over "sin-binnings" for level three offences such as the bowling of a deliberate beamer. The most serious level four offences - threats to the umpire, physical assaults and racist abuse - would warrant sending off for the remainder of the match, or being "retired out" if batting.

"We know anecdotally that player behaviour seems to be on the wane in cricket, certainly in this country," Fraser Stewart, the MCC's head of laws, told the paper.

"Statistics from leagues show there are increased numbers of players being reported. Last summer, five games had to be abandoned due to varying degrees of violence. That is an increase, for sure. It was felt that now was a good time to review this whole area and perhaps try and find leagues, competitions and schools willing to trial means that act as a deterrent."

The MCC, who are the guardians of the Laws of the game, plan to trial the proposals in their own matches this summer, including in their MCCU university matches, although not at this stage in matches involving first-class counties.

They then hope that the trial will be rolled out in recreational leagues with a view to the sanctions being codified in the next redraft of the Laws in 2017.

The proposals echo a similar call from Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, who called for the introduction of red and yellow cards in a column for ESPNcricinfo last year, following a series of on-field incidents involving Australia's abrasive opening batsman, David Warner.

"Fining these serial offenders is not going to work," Crowe wrote. "You have to take them out of the game for extended periods. Two yellow cards should result in a red card, which should ban any player for six months. This is the only way it will be dealt with."

An ECB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo that the board was keeping an eye on the trial. "It is a very interesting idea but it is in its earliest stages, and would need to be properly road-tested before being rolled out more widely," he said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dave on February 11, 2016, 15:58 GMT

    Anyone who thinks its a non issue or that it's easy to know what is 'banter' and what is sledging needs a reality check. Kids are actively copying pros and adults, who are increasingly poorly behaved.

  • Derek on February 11, 2016, 6:56 GMT

    Mr Kohli will spend more time off the field. Its one sure way for batsme to sit out fielding, likewise bowlers will finish their spell then cause an offence in order to get sin binned. Player that are sin binned / sent off etc should not be replaced if a team has two players sent off they should forefeit the match.

  • Sudhir on February 11, 2016, 4:40 GMT

    Ohh...sad news for australian if it will apply in internationational matches..they never won a game without sledging in past !!!

  • Gopi on February 11, 2016, 0:42 GMT

    good move people like steven smith would be more cautious now on..he is arrogant at his best..but what subcontinent trip would be detrimental for his captaincy

  • xxxxx on February 10, 2016, 23:24 GMT

    My immediate emotional reaction is to agree with any attempt to stop any real violence, but to avoid an overreaction it is always helpful to have the full facts. Five games abandoned - fine. Five from a thousand or five from a million? And is the solution to ape football codes? Peremptory "justice" can determine the result of a soccer match, often incorrectly, and precisely because of that invites the curse of play-acting (just one of 10,000 reasons why I prefer cricket). If such a process (non-process?) were applied to international cricket instead of the current considered one involving the match referee, cricket is inviting similar ill-considered results especially if the process is applied to less serious offences over time (as will be almost inevitable).

  • Matt on February 10, 2016, 21:06 GMT

    It's a sad day when this comes to pass. However, it's an indictment of the times in which we live. I've had to restrain a team-mate from attacking an opponent, and I'm sure all of us have experienced flashpoints. Having said that, it's only going to apply in a tiny minority of cases, and it's a case of the game having to adapt to the situation. There will be a problem enforcing this at the recreational level with no neutral umpires, though.

  • Michael on February 10, 2016, 20:50 GMT

    It wont be long and players will be diving in the hope of getting the other team a card or a send off

  • John on February 10, 2016, 19:36 GMT

    Excellent. Years too late, but still welcome. About time cricketers were made to behave like grown-ups.

  • David on February 10, 2016, 19:05 GMT

    This is going to go great with player umpires in the lower grades.

  • Stevan on February 10, 2016, 17:22 GMT

    Fantastic news, H Singh should be worried

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