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London: Cricketers can be red carded or banished to a sin-bin for 10 overs as Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) tries to bring down the levels of bad behaviour.
The club is set to launch a trial that will, in effect, bring red or yellow cards to club, university and schools cricket to address issues relating to excessive sledging and violent behaviour.
There were as many as five games abandoned in England last year due to violence and after discussing with umpire associations around the globe MCC has decided to introduce a code of conduct with four levels of offences.
One of the proposals for a level four offence is to send off a player for issues such as threatening an umpire, assaulting a player, official or spectator, and racist abuse. If it is a batsman, he will be "retired out".
For a level three offence players can be sent to the sin-bin for 10 overs. For lesser offences a side may face a five-run penalty.
"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 was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.co.uk.
"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.