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David Richardson delivers MCC Cowdrey Lecture: Sane Blokes to balance Ebullient Characters

August 8, 2018

ONE = Item in CRICKET AGE,  7 August 2018 with title “MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid as important as ‘larger than life’Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes, says ICC CEO Dave Richardson

ICC CEO David Richardson said that while cricket needs the likes of Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes, it also needs an MS Dhoni or Rahul Dravid as a balancing act. Richardson, while giving his MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture on Monday, said that cricket needs its “larger than life characters” and its more mellow exponents so as to “stay on the good side of that line.”

“On the field the cricket needs its larger than life characters. Its Colin Milburns, Freddie Flintoffs, Shane Warnes, Virat Kohlis, Ben Stokes but we equally it needs its Frank Worrells, its Mahendra Singh Dhonis, its Rahul Dravids, its Colin Cowdreys to make sure that we all stay in the good side of that line,” said Richardson.

The former South African wicketkeeper also touched upon the topic of players and coaches questioning decisions made by officials. “Too many coaches or team managers of recent times are too quick to side with their players, blame the umpires for being biased against their team, storming off to the match referee’s room to complain,” he said. “Winning must obviously be the aim of any game but not at all costs, not when it means compromising the integrity of the game.”

TWO: The Guardian Summary, …..https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/aug/06/david-richardson-cowdrey-lecture

David Richardson, chief executive of the ICC, has complained about the amount of cheating and sledging in international cricket and said that players and coaches have to do more to improve behaviour in the sport.

In the MCC’s 2018 Cowdrey Lecture on Monday evening, Richardson said there had lately been too much “ugly behaviour” on and off the field. “Personal abuse, fielders giving send-offs to batsmen who have been dismissed, unnecessary physical contact, players threatening not to play in protest against an umpire’s decision and ball tampering; this isn’t the version of our sport that we want to project to the world.”

Richardson argued that the ICC has taken steps to improve the situation by making personal abuse a specific offence that can be punished with a six-match ban in Test cricket or a 12-match suspension in limited-overs cricket. He also promised that it would do more to “educate the players on what it means to play the game within the spirit”, and to encourage countries to treat each other as “honoured guests with the standard of practice facilities and other logistical arrangements exactly the same as the home team, if not better”.

Richardson also asked administrators, players and coaches to do more to improve behaviour. “Too many coaches or team managers of recent times are too quick to side with their players, blame the umpires for being biased against their team, storming off to the match referee’s room to complain,” he added. “Winning must obviously be the aim of any game but not at all costs, not when it means compromising the integrity of the game.”

Richardson said he felt players were being “disingenuous” when they contended that the laws on ball tampering were confusing. “Over the last few months I’ve read comments from players requesting guidance on what is allowed in relation to the ball. Asking if they can chew gum, wear sun screen or drink a sugary drink.

“The laws are simple and straightforward – do not change the condition of the ball using an artificial substance.” And “if you are caught,” he added, “don’t complain. Saying others do it is not a defence. You are cheating.”

Richardson ended the lecture by saying the sport had to do more to “diversify even further both in terms of new markets but, perhaps even more importantly in my mind, in relation to women and girls. We need to ensure that cricket is not elitist but is accessible to and capable of being enjoyed by all”.

He thenallowed himself a dig at his host. “How many young children get to watch their England heroes in a Test at Lords? Limited seating capacity, a ready and sizeable adult/corporate market, a need to maximise revenues – in the main from tickets and alcohol sales – all lead to very few opportunities for young boys or girls to attend internationals.”

Richardson did, though, reassure everyone that “cricket is in great health” and that, while the ICC “don’t have all the answers to the challenges we face, we are working collectively to solve them”. Curiously, while his lecture included a lot of material on clear-cut issues such as player behaviour, it did not contain any detail on the ICC’s solutions to more intractable challenges, such as spot-fixing and the waning popularity of Test cricket.

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