Cricket is beloved worldwide for its polite nature, gentlemanly conduct and spirit of fair play. The importance of the spirit of cricket is set out in the preamble to the laws of the game, which can be found below. Every cricketer should make themselves aware of the behaviour that is expected of them on the cricket field. This allows for competitive games which both sides can enjoy, free from underhand tactics, gamesmanship and cheating. Cricket etiquette is full of nuances and niceties. It is important to learn these, but a general spirit of fair play and sportsmanship suffices in most situations.
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 captains.
Responsibility of captains
The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
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.
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.
There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution towards this.