In what was heralded by the cricketing community worldwide as a monumental step forward, the major governing bodies of cricket are all set to introduce red cards to all forms of the game. This is being introduced so as to police rude behavior or ungentlemanly kind of behavior from sportsmen.
From October of this year, Cricket will empower its umpires to send off any player they think is involved in aggression, or found guilty of threatening either the player, field of play or the umpires. These changes were proposed by the Marylebone Cricket Club World Cricket committee in light of recent spats on the field.
As a case in point, MCC has brought amateur games into the limelight citing the rise in aggression against opponents and umpires as cause. In fact, in a recent study it was found that nearly 40% of British umpires were deciding to call it quits because of the verbal abuse they suffer in club level matches.
Cricket currently remains as that rare team sport with no form of immediate punishment in-game. Even the worst possible behavior cannot be punished and penalties are only levied afterwards as fines or suspensions.
As for international cricket, the recent spat between Virat Kohli, Indian Test Team Captain and David Warner is put forward as an example. Going a little back in time, the famous incident between Dennis Lillee of Australia and Javed Miandad from Pakistan comes to mind. How about Michael Holding of West Indies kicking the stumps down after getting disgruntled with an umpire’s decision? Incidents such as these on-field and a few off-field all bring to light the need of introducing a red card policy.
Football if you remember was a violent sport, one where career threatening injuries were commonplace. This all changed with a penalty system was introduced giving referees direct power to remove players and further punish them for future matches. Today, the game has a drastic drop in such cases and when they do happen, appropriate punishment is doled out.
“Even rugby has the same card systems and so does hockey in all its formats. Almost every team sport has a system of penalizing players on misbehavior on the field. It certainly was high time this convention came into Cricket.”, said Ricky Ponting the former captain of Australia.