Wellington: Cricketers participating in the ICC World Cup 2015 have reportedly been issued a pre-tournament warning to refrain from sledging as the game's bosses don't want some repulsive confrontation at the tournament in New Zealand and Australia.
Sledging hit the headlines again over Australia's aggressive attitude in their recent Test series win over India, despite Australian batsman Phillip Hughes ' passing that saw the sensitivities over this side of the game being aired.
The Times newspaper in London reported that umpires and match referees would not tolerate sledging and player misbehaviour at the World Cup, as cricket authorities fear that broadcasting incidents to the massive television audience would be terrible for the game, Stuff.co.nz reported.
Match officials would reportedly be told that they have the backing of the International Cricket Council to report and punish anyone they think has breached the game's code of conduct.
Players would also be reminded of the fine line between fierce competition and abuse before the opening matches on February 14.
An ICC source revealed that one plays the game hard, absolutely, but added that there is nothing to be proud of about swearing or abusing another player. He also said that poor behaviour could never be justified.
The source also said that they do not want some repulsive confrontation at the World Cup, adding that it would be terrible publicity for the game.
The ICC source further said that umpires and match referees clearly need to feel they would be fully supported if they decide that something is inappropriate, especially related to language or threatening behaviour, adding that they are rightly being encouraged to clamp down.