Footie style-punishments for Oz club cricket sledgers from this season

August 28th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Aug.28 (ANI): A football-style card system is likely to be introduced in Gold Coast cricket clubs this season to prevent sledging.
The Gold Coast system, approved by Queensland’’s umpiring coach David Orchard, - will involve an immediate red card issued for any racist comments made on the field. Threats of violence would draw a yellow card.
“We are issuing the cards to crack down on the behavioural problems we have had in cricket on the Gold Coast the last few seasons. Although acceptable, there are levels of sledging that are not acceptable - like when it gets personal,” the district’’s cricket co-ordinator, John Fitzgerald, said.
Fitzgerald said the system would only be used in first- and second-grade competition and would affect about 26 teams.
He said sledging held a place in the sport, and in Australian life, but a level of acceptable conduct had to be achieved on the pitch.
The program was expected to curb sledging within the first few weeks of implementation, he said.
However, the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association has criticized the process, saying that strong leadership from captains was the real answer to poor conduct.
Sam Loxton, a member of Don Bradman’’s Invincibles and patron of the Gold Coast Cricket Club, supported the system.
He said Bradman would not have been happy with elements of the modern game and that he had never heard the man sledge another player.
“I heard him congratulate people on their deeds. I want to assure all and sundry that I revisited the Invincibles tape a week ago and I was delighted to hear Doug Ring say that there was not one word out of line on the cricket field in 1948.” (ANI)

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