ICC introduces stricter ball-tampering sanctions

Cricket's governing body will take a harder line with players found guilty of ball tampering under new regulations.

Changing the condition of the ball has been upgraded to a level three offence.   -  Getty Images

Players found guilty of ball tampering could face bans of six Test matches or 12 one-day internationals under new rules approved by the ICC on Monday.

As part of proposals put forward at the governing body's annual conference in Dublin, changing the condition of the ball has been upgraded to a level three offence.

That would mean heftier punishments for those found guilty, something that had been expected following the incident in South Africa that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft punished by Cricket Australia.

Monday's decision will see the ICC take a stronger stance on future cases, something chief executive David Richardson welcomed.

"I'd like to thank the Cricket Committee and the chief executives for their commitment to improving player behaviour in the game and supporting the introduction of new offences and great sanctions," he said in a statement.

"There is a clear desire here to reclaim cricket's unique proposition as a game that people can trust in and for us all to live the spirit of cricket in a way that is relevant in the 21st century."

Anyone found guilty of personal abuse, disobeying an umpire or "audible obscenity" will also be punished after they were added to the list of offences.

To deal with the latter, stump microphone guidelines have also been changed, with the audio now allowed to be broadcast at any time.

The ICC also intends to help Zimbabwe Cricket "stabilise its business", while threatening Sri Lanka Cricket's membership if they do not hold elections within six months.

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