Time to crack down on bad behaviour – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Time to crack down on bad behaviour

This past weekend cricket in Bermuda reached a new low, but it is important that as a country we realise this is not just a cricket problem or a football problem, but a social problem Island wide.

Where cricket is concerned, what can we do to reduce or eliminate this type of behaviour from happening in the future?

As coach of Cleveland I was extremely disappointed at the events that took place, primarily because we were on the road to rebuilding our reputation, and neither Willow Cuts nor ourselves needed the added attention. Another reason I was saddened was because I had seen some elderly Cleveland fans at the game that I had never seen before in my few years of coaching the side.

Having watched cricket week in and week out in Bermuda it doesn't surprise me that we are constantly having on-field issues.

Our standards of discipline have slipped tremendously, and what is deemed acceptable on the field of play is completely unacceptable. Too few players are being written up for what some may deem minor infractions.

However, if minor infractions continue to be ignored, players will feel they can push the boundaries until something explodes.

Too often big name players tend to do things and get away with it. Players are becoming accustomed to this type of behaviour going unnoticed, and it has had a domino effect.

There is a solution to this madness, it just requires the Bermuda Cricket Board to implement the code of conduct that players are expected to play under at the ICC international level. If our national team players have to go abroad and abide by strict standards, then why can't or shouldn't they have to oblige to them here?

To some, these actions will come across as severe, or unnecessary, and could even prove to be detrimental to the game. However, we must look to take serious action to prevent further issues, and to give umpires more control of the game.

Here are a few examples of minor infractions that often go unpunished locally, but under new guidelines players could be brought up on charges: players appealing excessively; players charging the umpire while appealing; a player or players throwing their hat down because a decision doesn't go their way; a batsman showing the umpire his bat when given out leg-before trying to persuade him that he hit the ball; a player throwing his bat; batsmen refusing to walk; foul or abusive language.

The infractions I mentioned above can be deemed as minor in some cases, and will warrant just a reprimand or a one-game suspension.

However, if these things are continuously left alone they will escalate, which is why we need to clamp down on these types of disciplinary issues immediately.

The clubs must also play a role in all of this by setting high standards, and each should have a disciplinary committee in place for their respective teams. When a player breaches the code of conduct set out by the club they should be dealt with.

Unfortunately, this isn't normally the case, and some clubs are found even trying to support the player's bad behaviour. Too many of our clubs are focused solely on winning, so much so that they would rather win then have a viable programme.

Having said all that, I just want to encourage all involved in cricket to continue striving to improve the sport.

Regardless of what many may think, this sport goes a long way, in a positive way, to shaping and moulding some of our youth into positive citizens.

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Published September 18, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated September 18, 2015 at 1:55 am)

Time to crack down on bad behaviour

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