Demerit Point System in Cricket

Hey Cricket Fans,

Today I am going to teach you guys about the demerit point system in Cricket. Some of you guys may have heard about this. But I am pretty sure that most of you guys don’t have a good idea about all the consequences and stuff. Let’s learn about that today.

Why a demerit point system to Cricket?

This system was introduced basically to punish players for repeatedly breaking the code of conduct. The code of conduct is actually under cricket’s 42nd law.

How does this system work?

Number of demerit points according to the level of offence

Image Source – EspnCricInfo

So, as you guys can see, if you get 3 or more demerit points you will be suspended for one test or 2 limited over games. This depends on the next match his team is going to have. If it is an ODI match or a T20I match, then the suspension will be 2 limited over matches and so on.

Are these points valid for his whole cricketing career?

The demerit points are valid for 24 months from the day of the offence. So, if you commit an offence in November 2019, then you will have those demerit points in your total until November of 2021.

And so in simple terms, if you commit two level 1 offences inside two years, you will be banned for one test or two limited over matches

What are these levels of offences?

Well, all of these offences have been written down in the 42nd law in cricket. Let me simplify it for you.

Level 1 Offences

Jimmy Anderson was for showing discent at an umpire’s decision

Image Source – crickettimes

  • wilfully mistreating any part of the cricket ground, equipment or implements used in the match
  • showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
  • using language that, in the circumstances, is obscene, offensive or insulting
  • making an obscene gesture

Level 2 Offences

Faf Du Plesis was rewarded with demerit points for having deliberate physical contact with Jos Buttler

Image Source – EspnCricInfo

  • showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action
  • making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with another player
  • throwing the ball at a player, umpire or another person in an inappropriate and dangerous manner
  • using language or gesture to another player, umpire, team official or spectator that, in the circumstances, is obscene or of a seriously insulting nature
  • anything else that umpire thinks is a level 2 offence

Level 3 Offences

  • intimidating an umpire by language or gesture
  • threatening to assault a player or any other person except an umpire

Level 4 Offences

  • threatening to assault an umpire
  • making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire
  • physically assaulting a player or any other person
  • committing any other act of violence.

Read the 42nd law in cricket in here

What is an example where demerit points were given?

So, in a test series between Sri Lanka and India, Indian player Ravindra Jadeja was banned to play a test match as he had collected more than 3 merit points. He had already collected 3 demerit points in an earlier series for stepping on the pitch. And in this series, he had thrown the ball at the batsman which umpires decided as dangerous. So, he was given another 3 demerit points. This made his total demerit points 6 resulting in a one test match ban.

Who decides the level of offence and the number of points that should be given?

So, it is a combination of on-field umpires and the match referee. The on-field umpires inform the match referee about the breach. He then decides the level of offence and the number of points that player deserve by considering the breach.

In my opinion, this is really good thinking from the ICC to not to give the responsibility to the on-field umpires to give the demerit points to the players as the emotional state of the umpire would have a larger impact on that decision.

When was this introduced to cricket?

This was introduced in September 2016 by ICC

Who has got the most number of demerit points inside 24 months so far?

There are only two players who have made it to the 6-point mark. As you know Ravindra Jadeja from India has got 6 points. Sri Lanka’s wicket-keeping batsman Niroshan Dickwella has collected 7 points inside 24 months.

Is this 24-month period unfair for the batsman?

The batsman can indeed be punished twice for the same offence. Well, I think this is the way it should be because the players are not supposed to breach the code of conduct repeatedly. And if they do so, they must get punished for it.


I hope you guys enjoyed my new article. I think I gave my best to write this article. Thank you for taking the time to read the article. See you tomorrow.

Published by Thisura Thenuka

I am a passionate software engineering student. But cricket is my first love ❤

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