England's Graeme Swann has accused a Sri Lankan batsman of cheating after England's tour game against Sri Lanka Board XI. Swann has been quoted by Stephen Brenkley of The Independent as saying:
"It was very difficult to take because it was so blatantly out. I'm just glad I live in an age where DRS is in place. The thing that annoyed the players on the field, and annoyed me, was that the umpire was unsighted but the batsman stood there knowing 100 per cent that he was out and chose to cheat, in my view.
I think he then opened himself up to the level of abuse that was coming to him. To be honest, I'm glad Straussy was there because I'm sure it would have gone further than that had we not had someone with a bit of intelligence and nous to calm things down.
It was just cheating in my view, but we live in an age where cheating is accepted in Test cricket. If people don't walk and think they can get away with it, nobody seems to say anything. But I don't agree with that."Quite apart from being fairly rich on Swann's part (England's batsmen don't walk either), accusing an opposing player of being a cheat is surely at odds with 2.1.7 of the Code of Conduct (pdf), which specifies the following:
2.1.7 Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an International Match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match official or team participating in any International Match, irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made.As the ICC's Code makes clear in 1.5.2 of the same document, a player representing a National Cricket Federation's representative side (which England is) is automatically bound by the Code of Conduct even in a tour match. The player from the domestic team is not bound by the Code.
1.5.2 where a representative side of a National Cricket Federation participates in an International Tour Match against a domestic or invitational team, for the purposes of their participation in such International Tour Match:
22.214.171.124 all Players and Player Support Personnel representing the National Cricket Federation’s representative side are automatically bound by, required to comply with, and shall submit themselves to the jurisdiction of this Code of Conduct; and
126.96.36.199 all players or player support personnel representing the domestic or invitational team shall not be bound by this Code of Conduct. Instead, such individuals will be bound by, required to comply with, and shall submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the relevant National Cricket Federation’s own applicable rules of conduct.Obviously, the batsman is well within his rights to stand his ground if he's not sure that a catch has been completed. He is not required to take the fielder's word for it.
Graeme Swann will probably get away with this, but that is only because the ICC is unlikely to enforce their own rules. Such selective enforcement compromises the rules and does not serve the ICC's interests. In this instance, there is enough evidence to at least warrant a hearing. This lack of enforcement seems to be most common when it comes to 2.1.7.