ECB Code of Conduct and Spirit of Cricket
1 The ECB is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct. This Code of Conduct incorporates the Spirit of Cricket, as set out below. It applies to all matches played under the auspices of the ECB and may be applied to cricket in general.
2 The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of Cricket as well as within the Laws.
3 Players and team officials must at all times accept the umpire’s decision. Players must not show dissent at the umpire’s decision or react in a provocative or disapproving manner towards an umpire at any time.
4 Players and team officials shall not intimidate assault or attempt to intimidate or assault an umpire, another player or a spectator.
5 Players and team officials shall not use crude and/or abusive language (known as sledging) nor make offensive gestures or hand signals nor deliberately distract an opponent.
6 Players and team officials shall not make racially abusive comments nor indulge in racially abusive actions against fellow players, officials, members and supporters. Clubs must operate an active open door membership policy whilst respecting player qualification regulations and welcome players/members irrespective of ethnic origin.
7 Players and team officials shall not use or in any way be concerned in the use or distribution of illegal drugs.
8 Clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their members and supporters towards players and umpires.
The Spirit of Cricket
Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws, but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.
1 There are two Laws which place the responsibility for the team’s conduct firmly on the captain.
Responsibility of captains
The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
In the event that any player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising by word or action the decisions of an umpire, or showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player’s captain, and instruct the latter to take action.
2 Fair and unfair play
According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play.
The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.
3 The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:
- Time wasting
- Damaging the pitch
- Dangerous or unfair bowling
- Tampering with the ball
- Any other action that they consider to be unfair
4 The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for:
- Your opponents
- Your own captain and team
- The role of the umpires
- The game’s traditional values
5 It is against the Spirit of the Game:
- To dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture
- To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
- To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance:
(a) to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out
(b) to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
(c) to seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one’s own side
There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.