|Saturday, 10 January 2004|
ICC tells players to respect umpires
LONDON, Friday (AFP)
World cricket's governing body called Thursday on international players to respect umpires and told the sport's leading officials to use all the powers at their disposal to ensure on-field behaviour did not get out of hand.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is particularly concerned with the practice of players celebrating a wicket before the umpire has given his decision.
It was an issue recently highlighted by match referee Mike Procter during last month's third Test between Australia and India in Melbourne. Former South Africa all-rounder Procter warned players from both sides to stop raucously appealing and celebrating dismissals before the umpires had made their decisions.
Otherwise he said they risked being fined 50 percent of their match fee under clause 1.5 of the ICC's Code of Conduct.
However, Australia and India are not alone when it comes to excessive appealing and premature celebration which many reckon is designed to pressurise the umpire into giving a decision in the fielding side's favour.
Spectators from around the world have grown used to the sight of bowlers from nearly all Test and first-class teams charging down the pitch to celebrate a wicket with their equally excited fielders long before the umpire has raised his finger - the signal which confirms to a batsman his innings is over.
But the ICC's Australian chief executive Malcolm Speed, unhappy that officials in the past have let some unsavoury on-field incidents go unpunsished, is determined that umpires and referees do all in their power to clamp down on the practice.
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