x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Focus on over rate and verbal abuse

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has called on match officials to clamp down on slow over rates and verbal abuse.

DUBAI // The International Cricket Council (ICC) has called on match officials to clamp down on slow over rates and verbal abuse. The ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat wrote to umpires and referees asking them to be "assertive and proactive" to help cricket maintain its feelgood factor. He has urged players, especially captains, to help ensure the game is played in the right spirit. "After the recent Test match in Chennai there is a real feelgood factor about the game, and rightly so," Lorgat said in a statement.

"I want that to carry on now we've moved into what is traditionally the busiest period in the cricketing calendar. Verbal abuse and slow over rates have the potential to impact negatively on the way the game is perceived." The ICC celebrates its centenary year in 2009 amid a busy calendar which includes the World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy. Slow over rates have previously led to suspensions for captains and Australia's Ricky Ponting was fined last month.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif's doping hearing will be held on Jan 24 in London. Asif was due to appear before an Indian Premier League tribunal in Mumbai on Nov. 29, but it had to be postponed after the terrorist attacks. * Agencies