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Alastair Cook expresses displeasure over MCC's sin-bin experiment

932   //    12 Feb 2016, 13:02 IST
Cook believes that introduction of stump mics and numerous TV cameras has made the game ‘a lot quieter’

England Test captain Alastair Cook has expressed his discontent following reports that the game is about to experiment with sin-bins to counter bad behavior. He has urged cricket lawmakers not to become “too politically correct.

The 31-year-old has also pointed out that the introduction of the stump mics and an increase in TV cameras has made the professional game a lot quieter.

He said, “We’ve got to be careful, cricket needs characters, like Ben Stokes getting fired up after an 11-over spell in the heat and [at] altitude with no wicket.

“Then [Temba] Bavuma inside-edged him past the stumps. He showed emotion. But I’d be worried if we take all that out of it, which is the danger.

“It’s important we don’t go OTT (over the top) on that.”

MCC looks to introduce Yellow and Red cards in cricket

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is all set to launch a trial with club, university and schools cricket in 2017 to prevent excessive sledging and violent behavior. The club would also like to see the introduction of yellow and red cards as cricket looks to other global sports to stop disciplinary issues.

Last year five matches were abandoned because of violence in England’s lower division. Under the new proposal, a player could spend 10 overs in the ‘sin–bin’ for threatening and intimidating behavior or for even bowling a single beamer. A player could be banned for the rest of the game if he threatens an umpire or assaults any another player or official.

If this experiment is adjudged a success it could be introduced to the professional game as well. The MCC’s head of laws Fraser Stewart said, “We know anecdotally that player behaviour seems to be on the wane in cricket, certainly in this country.”

Allan Donald Michael Atherton
The confrontations between Allan Donald and Michael Atherton are now a part of cricket’s folklore

“Some of the great stories come from sledging,” says Cook

However, in a recent charity event, Cook said, “The players have a responsibility 100% to make sure the game is played the right way. There’s a line which can’t be crossed.”

But he also said, “It almost inflames a situation when, if a bowler says something to a batsman, the umpire gets involved straight away. It makes the situation a lot worse.

He added, referring to the chronicled feud between Allan Donald and Michael Atherton in a Test match in 1998, “In general, we’ve got to be careful. Some of the great stories come from sledging. Allan Donald, was he sledging, no, but he was really fired up, when [Mark] Boucher dropped that catch.

“He screamed at the top of his voice. I’m sure it wasn’t particularly pleasant what he screamed, but it added to the drama and the theatre of that iconic moment, which people now love, him saying a few words to Athers (Michael Atherton), and Athers staring straight back at him.”

“I was chatting to fans in South Africa and they enjoyed watching sides go at each other”, he said.

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