David Richardson believes this has to be the best ICC World Cup till date © Getty Images
David Richardson believes this has to be the best ICC World Cup till date © Getty Images

Dubai: Jan 20, 2015

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson believes that “there has been no stone left unturned” as preparations continue ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, but stressed the need for players to remember their responsibilities to uphold the sport’s integrity at all times.

In an exclusive TV interview with the ICC, the former South Africa wicketkeeper also shared his views ahead of the sport’s pinnacle 50-over tournament, having worked in the role of ICC General Manager ? Cricket in each of the previous three tournaments (2003, 2007 and 2011).

Richardson, who featured in the Proteas squad that reached the semi-finals of the competition the last time the event was staged by Australia and New Zealand, in 1992, believes that this will be the best World Cup to date.

And on the eve of the 11th edition of the tournament, Richardson has also strongly reinforced the ICC’s expectations on player behaviour and maintaining the game’s integrity at all times, on and off the field of play.

“Over the last six months, or even going back further to the last Ashes series, there have been too many examples of player behaviour going too far and overstepping the boundaries of acceptabilities. The amount of sledging and disrespect shown by players to each other was bad. Since then, we have done a lot of work with our Umpires and Match Referees to ensure that they are much more pro-active in terms of policing behaviour on the field and when players do over-step the mark, taking appropriate action.

“Over the last three or four months you have seen 12 ICC Code of Conduct charges laid against people for exactly that; disrespectful behaviour on the field. For the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, it will be no different and at all pre-event briefings with the teams, the Match Referees will be making sure that that message is delivered loud and clear.”

In outlining the ICC’s recent worldwide clampdown in dealing with suspected illegal bowling actions, Richardson also outlined the ICC’s position for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

“We want to make sure that we don?t lose ground on what I think has been significant progress over the last few months,” he said. “The game realised that we had a significant problem and there were just too many bowlers, from all teams, bowling with suspected actions. So, I think we have made very good progress in identifying those bowlers, sending them off to be tested and, where necessary, suspending them until they can remedy their actions.”