What are Demerit Points in Cricket? Explained

In September 2016, the International Cricket Council (ICC) implemented demerit points in the sport of cricket. The decision to implement this system was made in response to the ICC Code of Conduct.

These points are used to penalise cricketers for various infractions. Any cricketer who accumulates four demerit points within 24 months is sanctioned by the ICC, and the player is barred from playing in one test match or two white-ball matches.

The offences are further classified into four categories.

How Are Demerit Points Distributed?

The consequences for the four stages of the offence are different. 

  • A player receives 1 or 2 points for a level 1 transgression. 
  • A player receives 3 or 4 points for a level 2 transgression. 
  • A player receives 5 or 6 points for a level 3 transgression. 
  • A player receives 7 or 8 points for a level 4 transgression. 

In most circumstances, the umpire is the one who reports these incidents to the match officials. The match referee then assigns points based on the severity of the occurrence.

If a player collects eight demerit points within two years, their punishment is doubled. The player and team involved can appeal the match referee’s decision, which results in a hearing.

Also Read | Decoding the Duties of Umpires in Cricket: A Comprehensive Guide

How Does the Demerit Points System Work?

When a player accumulates four or more points in the span of 24 months, the points are turned into suspension points, and the player is barred from playing international cricket.

Two suspension points result in a ban for one Test, two ODIs, or two T20Is, depending on which game comes first.

ICC Code of Conduct

ICC Code of Conduct violations include the following offences:

  • Excessive appeal during an international match (Level 1)
  • Mishandling of cricket equipment, ground equipment, fixtures, or apparel (Level 1)
  • Public profanity during an international match (Level 1)
  • Disobeying the instructions of an umpire during an international match (Level 1)
  • Use of rude or derogatory language, acts, or gestures that may elicit an angry reaction from the batsman if he or she is dismissed during an international match (Level 1)
  • Making a rude, derogatory, or insulting gesture during a match (Level 1)
  • Making inappropriate comments related to an occurrence in an international match (Level 1 and Level 2)
  • Disagreeing with an umpire’s decision during an international match (Level 1 and Level 2)
  • During an international match, inappropriate physical contact with a player or support staff (Level 1 and Level 2)
  • Tampering with the ball (Level 3)
  • Threat of assault on any player, support staff, match official or public spectator (Level 3 and Level 4)
  • Player involved in physical assault on any player, support staff, match official or public spectator (Level 4)
  • Conduct that is against the spirit of the game (Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4)

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