Indian skipper, Virat Kohli has been fined 25% of his match fee and also received a demerit point for showing on-field dissent at the ongoing 2nd Test against South Africa at Centurion.
His behaviour falls under the Level 1 offence category of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.
In this light, let's revisit the governing body's demerit system.
Apart from Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja is the only Indian player to receive one or more demerit points since the introduction of the system in September 2016. He received one-match suspension after accumulating six demerit points.
While the ICC has rules that keep a check on both players' and match officials' conduct, let's look at the code of conduct that monitor players' behaviour.
The offenses by players are categorized under Level 1 to Level 4 and based on the severity of an offence; a player can be fined % of his salary and receive match suspensions.
Player's conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, that brings disrepute to game, using obscene language or gesture, showing dissent at umpire's decision, excessive appealing are categorized as Level 1 offenses.
A Level 1 offense can result in a warning and/or imposition of fine up to 50% of a player's match fee along with accumulation of demerit points (1-2).
Level 2 offences include charging towards towards the umpire in an aggressive manner, inappropriate or deliberate physical contact with an opponent player, or throwing a ball at a player, changing the condition of the ball, etc,.
Level 2 offence attracts 3-4 demerit points and a fine between 50-100% of the player's match fee and/or up to two suspension points.
Two suspension points carry a match ban weightage of one Test match or 2 ODIs.
Intimidation of an umpire by language or conduct, threat of assault on a player or team official or spectator is considered a Level 3 offense.
Level 4 offense, of highest severity, includes threatening an umpire or match referee, inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with umpire, physical assault of another player or support personnel or umpire, and any act of violence on field.
While Level 3 offense attracts between 4-8 suspensions points, Level 4 offense carries 8 suspension points or a suspension period for a fixed time between the lesser of equivalent of 8 suspension points and one year.
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