ICC crackdown on player behaviour bit of a joke: Warner

Melbourne, Jan 29 (IANS) Australia’s swashbuckling opener David Warner has termed the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) crackdown on player’s on-field behaviour as a “bit of a joke”.

Just before the World Cup in 2015, the world cricket governing body made clear it would take firmer stance on player behaviour, particularly exchanges between opponents as well as over-the-top wicket celebrations.

“It’s been tough with the crackdown of the ICC at the moment – I’m not going to have a pot shot at them but it’s becoming a bit of a joke,” Warner was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Friday.

Warner believes the crackdown has led to decrease in the entertainment value of the game.

“The players can’t celebrate as much. Back in the day, I used to love watching Glenn McGrath bowl to the West Indians, and them bowling to us, and (the bowlers) getting in the faces of the batsmen,” he said.

“We know sometimes things might get a little bit out of hand, but that’s what we love about the game; we love the contest and it (the crackdown) is really taking away from the bat-and-ball contest.”

The crackdown has, however, failed to stop a series of exchanges between India’s talismanic batsman Virat Kohli and Australian players in the recently concluded One-Day International series and the ongoing T20Is.

Warner praised the interactions but added that he and Kohli are now targeted for special attention due to their reputations.

“Virat’s a very passionate guy, he leads by example for his country. He sets the tone, and that’s what I try to do for Australia as well when I’m on the field… we’re always in the camera’s vision, it always gets us and we have to cop that on the chin and move on,” he concluded.

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