The ICC are damaging their image by issuing farcical sanctions

The demerit system is clearly a contentious one and the ICC should review it so that it is fair for everybody involved in International cricket.

FILE: South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada celebrates a wicket. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The International Cricket Council’s image has received a major knock in recent weeks for issuing out far-fetched and unfair disciplinary sanctions to cricket players around the world.

The Kagiso Rabada and Steve Smith incident is probably the high profile of the recent events in international cricket. The ICC has since overturned its decision to slap Rabada with a Level two offense and a two-match suspension for a mere unintentional shoulder brush with Smith.

Now let’s look at another incident that has received an unfair sanction from the watchdogs at the ICC. Yesterday, West Indian batsman, Marlon Samuels received a warning and one demerit point for hitting and damaging the 30-yard circle disk with his bat on his way to the dressing room after being dismissed for 86.

I mean how ridiculous is that? Samuels had just played a match winning innings in a crucial World Cup Qualifier against Zimbabwe and was demonstrating his disappointment at not finishing the job off for his team and the ICC thought it was fit to discipline the guy for showing a little bit of disappointment?!

Compare these two incidences to the one that happened in Colombo which was far worse than what Rabada and Samuels did.

Bangladesh Captain Shakib Al Hasan and player Narul Hasan literally incited violence during their Nihadas Trophy Tri-series match against Sri Lanka. Shakib remonstrated an umpiring decision and instructed his players to come off the field during a match and then proceeded to damage a dressing room.

They only got slapped with a light one demerit point sanction for an offense that was far worse than what Rabada or Samuels did.

Now I’m not saying the ICC should not punish players who step out of line, what I’m saying is that the governing body isn’t being consistent and fair in how they determine their sanctions.

Players are representing their countries and emotions will always be involved because of that and the game needs to provide room for that to happen in a positive way. Rabada celebrating his dismissal of a player who averages 62.49 in test matches and Samuels showing disappointment for not seeing his team over the line personally in a crucial match are the kinds of positive emotions the game should allow.

But if players and a team decide to boycott a match in progress and vandalise property then those are the sort of emotions and behaviours we can not allow to creep into the game.

The demerit system is clearly a contentious one and the ICC should review it so that it is consistent to the kind of offense a player has committed and fair for everybody involved in International cricket.