ENOUGH IS ENOUGH... YOU’RE OFF
Paul Nixon on why red cards will be the big game-changer...
The MCC met in Mumbai this week and introduced a new set of laws that will be introduced to the game from October next year. The main one, that seems to have got everyone talking, is that of sendings off. Umpires at all levels of the game will be given the power to eject players from a match for serious disciplinary breaches.
Players would be ejected for three things: threatening an umpire; physically assaulting another player, umpire, official or spectator; any other act of violence on the field of play.
I feel it’s the start of something much bigger. Fair play to the MCC for bringing it in, but we have to understand that this is more for the grassroots level of the game.
It’s important to have it at all levels of cricket though because it vibrates down. The international players are the club guys’ role models and the rules need to be the same, no matter where you play.
The rules mainly apply to physical altercations, and you don’t want to see that in any sport, or anywhere else, for that matter. But, as I say, there will be more to come.
There are too many bowlers who appeal for longer than necessary, and who appeal and keep running down the wicket. I don’t like that. But that would be too harsh to send a guy off.
There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be more to come, with perhaps the introduction of yellow cards to follow once we’ve seen what impact red cards have on the game.
Everybody wants consistency with the rules, but it’s always going to be down to the umpires’ discretion. It’s the same with football.We often see a tackle being shown a yellow card by one referee, and a similar tackle in another game, with a different referee, receiving no punishment.
But players know different umpires and they know who they can push and who they can’t. The umpires are the same for both sides, but of course there are going to be variations between people.
You can train umpires as much as you like, but there’s nothing we can do about that. It’s the same with lbw decisions. Some give them, some don’t. It’s the nature of the game.
Fair play to the MCC for bringing in red cards, but we have to understand this is for the grassroots level of the game
It’s definitely the right move though. Anything that helps to take violence – which we rarely see anyway – out of the game is a good thing. You’ve still got to have a competitive nature and guys going head-to-head in battle, but it’s making sure the line is not crossed.
Red cards aren’t the only new law to be mentioned, with bat sizes and bat edges set to be restricted too. Lance Armstrong always said it’s not about the bike (insert joke here) and I’m a big believer that players are getting physically stronger with better hitting techniques.
You could give some of these players the deadest bat going and they would still hit the ball miles; I’m talking about the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell.You still have to be strong enough to pick it up and wield it at pace – that’s a skill in itself.
I like technology being improved and if bat manufacturers have the capability to do what they want then I see no issue. Spectators want to see the ball flying out the ground!
You’re off! But red cards could set a deangerous precedent