Gurgaon – The head of the World Cricket Council said Thursday that the "spirit" of the sport is in danger after recent scandals – from racist comments to corruption – that cast a shadow on his reputation.
Executive Director of the International Cricket Council David RichardsonSpeaking a few days after Pakistan's captain Sarfraz Ahmed was banned for four games, he insisted that tough measures would be taken to combat misconduct and the appointment of matches.
On Sunday, Sarfraz was banned for racially insulting South African Andile Fehlukweyo in Durban and has since returned home from a tour.
The sport is also still agitated by the controversy that swallowed Australian players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft after they were caught for falsifying the ball during the Test against South Africa and banned.
“As for the behavior of the players, we have recently had several incidents around the world, and we have taken the necessary steps for everyone to understand the spirit of cricket,” Richardson told reporters in Gurgaon.
“The spirit of cricket is something unique in the game, and we have to protect it,” he added.
Sri Lanka is at the center of a major corruption investigation, and Richardson reiterated the efforts of the ICC to disrupt criminal gangs, who are believed to be behind matchmaking.
The ICC called on Sri Lankan players and coaches to testify about corruption before the amnesty expires this month.
Sri Lankan cricket was at the center of the charges, including attempts to fix the match before the test against England last year.
“In recent years, we have become much more active in trying to destroy these unscrupulous people who roam the earth trying to fix cricket,” said Richardson.
“The players were very good at reporting on any approach they get.
“Now you read more about fighting corruption in the media, but this is not because it gets worse, but because we are trying to do much more to destroy these criminal elements,” he added.
The former South African wiketer should leave the post of ICC boss after this year's World Cup, when Manu Souchni from India should take over.
Richardson said that the wider use of technology in sports and efforts to increase the reputation of Test Cricket at the World Cup were at the center of his attention.
“Finally, we convinced the participants that a test league is necessary. Probably, it stands out as one of the things that I will be proud of. "