Trevor Bayliss calls for lighter touch from ICC over on-field confrontations
England coach Trevor Bayliss fears the International Cricket Council may end up constraining his sport's most charismatic stars by taking too firm a hand with "by-play" on the pitch
England coach Trevor Bayliss fears the International Cricket Council may end up constraining his sport's most charismatic stars by taking too firm a hand with "by-play" on the pitch.
Ben Stokes is England's case in point, after a reprimand from the world governing body for his verbal spat with Virat Kohli in the third Test at Mohali. The India captain was spared any disciplinary process but Stokes received a ticking-off for the "inappropriate comments" he made in response to a 'send-off' from Kohli after his first-innings dismissal last weekend.
Ben Stokes was reprimanded for making inappropriate comments during third Test last Saturday
The reprimand was accompanied by a demerit point under the ICC's new code of conduct system — taking Stokes' tally to two after a similar offence in England's defeat to Bangladesh in Dhaka in October. The all-rounder has therefore put himself in line for a mandatory ban, for one Test or two one-day internationals, should he double his demerit points at any point over the next two years.
Asked if Stokes will therefore be well advised to tone down the verbals, however, Bayliss hinted he believes it is administrators rather than players who perhaps ought to have a rethink.
"I think he's improving!" he said. "I think at times ICC are almost looking for things. I agree that things have been out of hand in the past, and we don't want it to go overboard. But sometimes a little bit of by-play between a couple of guys on either side — who are passionate about their cricket and their team — I think it's good for the game."
Stokes is a crowd-pleaser, and often a match-winner, and Bayliss does not want him to calm down too much. "We've just got to be careful... we (don't) completely cut that out," he added. I think having some personalities in the game is fantastic to watch. I think it's part of the game. "But he's got to learn to deal with it in a different way... or get away with it a bit better!"
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