The International Cricket Council (ICC), founded on June 15, 1909, for the organisation and governance of cricket’s major international tournaments, set a few guidelines to ensure proper and fair play during the matches. Under the ICC Code of Conduct, players may be fined from their match fees, banned for a specific number of matches, or even banned for a few years or life if they are found guilty of breaching rules or indulging in unfair play.
According to ESPN’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’, 291 different players and team officials were found guilty of breaching the code of conduct between January 1992 and October 2016 across Tests, ODIs and T20Is.
According to the report, Team India topped the chart with most the number of offences (78) followed by Pakistan (58), Australia (53) and Bangladesh (24). The report further revealed that most offences were recorded in 2001 (33) followed by in 2004 (29).
Let’s have a look at some of the well-known Indian cricketers who faced the heat for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct.
Australian newspaper The Sunday Telegraph claimed that Ganguly paid around USD 50,000 for breach of the official code of conduct during his cricket career.
“Former captain Sourav Ganguly is the game’s undisputed problem child, being hauled over the coals by cricket’s governing body a record 12 times in his international career,” wrote the paper.
He faced the heat from ICC after he was suspended by the governing body for two Test matches for slow over rate against Pakistan in November 2004. According to an ICC release, Ganguly breached clause C1 which states that players “shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws of Cricket.”.
The 2011 World Cup-winning captain too faced the heat after he was fined 75 percent of his match fees for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the first One-Day International between India and Bangladesh in 2015. Dhoni was found to have breached Article 2.2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel which is about “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between Players in the course of play during an International Match”.
The incident happened in the 25th over of India innings when Dhoni made a physical contact with debutant Mustafizur Rahman while taking a single.
In August 2017, ICC suspended Jadeja for the third test against Sri Lanka after he was found to have thrown a ball at opener Dimuth Karunaratne off his own bowling when the batsman was inside the crease. The umpire had ruled the action as “dangerous”. Jadeja admitted to having committed the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by ICC match referee Richie Richardson.
Current Indian captain Virat Kohli was fined 30 percent of his match fees for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the Asia Cup T20 match against Pakistan in 2016. The incident occurred during the 15th over of India’s innings when Kohli, the vice-captain at that time, displayed dissent by first making gestures with his bat. He then left the crease while continuing to look back at the umpire and uttered a few words after being ruled out.
The left-handed batsman, who is currently out of the Indian squad, was handed a one-match ban for elbowing Shane Watson in the midriff on the first day of the third Test between India and Australia in 2008.
In 2007, Gambhir was fined 50 percent of his match fee after he was found to make inappropriate contact with Shahid Afridi during the Kanpur ODI against Pakistan.
Popularly known as ‘God of Cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar was suspended for a Test match and was also fined 75 percent of his match fee on the charges of ball-tampering during India tour of South Africa 2001. Mike Denness, who was the match referee indicated to a video of Tendulkar running his fingers on the seam. Tendulkar, while clarifying, said that he was only trying to take out the dirt from the seam in wet conditions.