Cricket Australia crackdown on dissent, sledging

November 26, 2013 1:07 PM

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Cricket Australia crackdown on dissent, sledging

As Australia rejoices in regaining its tough-guy image in the Ashes, Cricket Australia is cracking down on players who put a foot out of line in domestic ranks.

While David Warner escaped action from CA for his public criticism of England batsman Jonathan Trott, the outbreak of behavioural breaches at domestic level fuelled suggestions of a different standard at state level.

There have been 11 breaches this season, including Michael Clarke's $3000 fine from the ICC for sledging Jimmy Anderson at the Gabba.

Last season there were 24 reports, but 13 of those were during a bad-tempered Big Bash League. Of those, seven came out of one game featuring Shane Warne's infamous clash with Marlon Samuels. The figure also includes ICC charges against Australians, including James Faulkner's send-off to Chris Gayle last summer and Darren Lehmann's fine for an outburst in which he accused Stuart Broad of ''blatant cheating''.

CA points out that this year's figures could be skewed by the fact a whole competition, the Ryobi Cup, has been completed. A spokesman said the system was tweaked before the season to bring it into closer alignment with the ICC's behavioural code.

''There has been no edict to umpires to take a harder line, they are asked to call it as they see it,'' a spokesman said.

Victorian captain Matthew Wade this month became the first player to be charged with the serious offence of pitch tampering under CA's jurisdiction, but Australian Cricketers' Association boss Paul Marsh said many of the offences this season had been relatively minor.

''I've said for a long time that I think we play our best cricket when we are aggressive and I wouldn't like to see that stamped out of domestic cricket,'' Marsh said.

South Australian batsman Tom Cooper was fined for swearing in the dressing room, and because the Ryobi Cup was played at suburban grounds, he could be heard in the middle. WA spinner Ashton Agar was fined for swearing in the direction of an umpire when an appeal was turned down, and young Redbacks batsman Travis Head hit the ball away with his bat after he was bowled during the shield match against Tasmania.

The most bizarre report was Clarke's reprimand for making the T-sign used to ask for a decision review in a Sheffield Shield game, in which the challenge system is not used. This is now interpreted as dissent after an apparent outbreak of T signs at the lower levels when batsmen are unhappy with a decision.

The Australians were full of aggression in the opening Test, through Mitchell Johnson's brutal use of the short ball and verbal intimidation.

Channel Nine has apologised for putting to air Clarke's ''broken bones'' sledge, for which the stump microphone had not been turned down.

There had been a suggestion that CA could take action against Warner for describing Trott's dismissal at the Gabba as ''pretty weak''. But it's understood he won't be charged under CA's code of behaviour and he was not cited by the ICC within the 48-hour window in which the charges can be laid by the match referee.


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