Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the managers, captains and umpires.

Managers of All age groups should meet with their counterparts, the umpires and both captains before the game to emphasise the importance of adhering to the "Code of Conduct" outlined at the end of these rules particularly with regard to inappropriate verbal abuse (sledging) or dissent around umpiring decisions.

  1. There are two Laws which place responsibility for the team's conduct firmly on the captain. 
    Responsibility of captains 
    The captains and managers are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws. 

    Player's conduct 
    In the event of a player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising by word or action the decision of an umpire, or showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player's captain, and instruct the latter to take action.
  2. Fair and unfair play 
    According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. 
    The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.
  3. The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of: 
    • Time wasting
    • Damaging the pitch
    • Dangerous or unfair bowling
    • Tampering with the ball
    • Any other action that they consider to be unfair
  4. The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for: 
    • Your opponents
    • Your own captain
    • The roles of the umpires
    • The game's traditional values
  5. It is against the Spirit of the Game: 
    • To dispute an umpire's decision by word, action or gesture
    • To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
    • To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance:
      1. to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out
      2. to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
      3. to seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one's own side
  6. Violence 
    There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
  7. Players 
    Captains, managers and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. The pre-match meeting between these key personnel is an ideal opportunity to reinforce these sentiments and agree any changes in match rules to be applied during the game (ie application of the laws pertaining to lbw or wides, reduction in the length of the game due to bad light, etc.).

© Marylebone Cricket Club