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Cricket to introduce red card to send off players

Cricket is set to introduce red cards for the first time which will allow umpires to send off players for serious discipline breaches.

The Marylebone Cricket Club which governs the cricket rules explained the new sanctions which need to be implemented during a meeting in Mumbai.

MCC World Cricket Committee member and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting explained that sanctions needed to be implemented. “We’re talking about a significant change to lower-level cricket because it has got completely out of hand down there,” he said.

MCC is the guardian of the laws and spirit of the game, and its world cricket committee has been a leading independent voice on the game’s major issues since it was found in 2006.

The new laws will be implemented at all levels of the game from 1 October 2017, if approved by the MCC’s main committee.

When would players be ejected?

According to the proposed new law players can be dismissed for threatening an umpire; physically assaulting another player, umpire, official or spectator; or any other act of violence on the field of play.

“It got to the state where something had to happen to prevent those things happening on the international stage,” he added.

“The modern player now understands their role in society, about being role models and want to play the game the right way for younger kids.”

The committee debated sanctions including run penalties and sin-bins for lesser offences, but decided it would be difficult to implement around the world.

Limitations on bat sizes

MCC also decided to limit the size of the edge and depth of bats. This come after much debate over bat sizes and call for restrictions from the International Cricket Council.

Bat edges will have a maximum allowance of 40mm and bat depths must not exceed 67mm (60mm plus an allowance of 7mm for a possible curve on the face of the bat).

The will be added to the laws as the committee believes the balance of the game has tilted too far in the batsman’s favour.

The committee concluded that many of the top players’ bats have edges of between 38mm and 42mm, but there are some which have edges of up to 50mm, which was excessive and in need to be restricted.

The new law will not be implemented on amateur players who will continue to use existing bats which may breach the new law.

Ball striking fielder’s helmet

The new laws will also allow catches and stumping after the ball has struck a helmet being worn by a fielder.

This includes a ball lodged or trapped in the grille of a helmet given the wearing the helmets by close fielders has been made compulsory at some levels.

However, a ball striking an unattended helmet behind the wicketkeeper will still earn five runs for the batting side.

The committee decided the law on ball tampering would not be changed. The proposal for four-day Tests were debated but not approved.

The committee reaffirmed support for Twenty20 cricket being added to the Olympic Games, and to introduce a World Test Championship.

This story originally appeared on BBC Sports

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