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Richardson: The cricket spirit should be protected

Gurgon – The head of the world cricket body on Thursday said the disputed "spirit" is under threat after recent scandals – ranging from racist comments on corruption – which disrupted the reputation.

International Cricket Director David Richardson, speaking only days after Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed was banned in four matches, insisted that heavy measures would be taken in connection with improper behavior and match-fixing.

Surfraz was banned on Sunday for making a racist versus South African Andil Fehlukway in Durban and has since been returning home from the tour.

Sport is also recovering from the controversy involving Australian players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, after being caught trying to mix the ball during a test against South Africa and forbidden.

"Regarding the players' behavior, we have some incidents around the world lately and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that everyone understands the spirit of the cricket," Richardson told reporters in Gurgaon.

"The spirit of cricket is something unique to the game and something we need to protect," he added.

Sri Lanka is at the center of a major corruption investigation, and Richardson repeated the ICC's efforts to break the criminal gangs that are believed to be behind attempts to fix matches.

The ICC urged Sri Lankan players and coaches to give evidence of corruption before the amnesty expires this month.

Cricket in Sri Lanka is at the heart of the allegations, including an attempt to match matches before Test against England last year.

"In recent years, we have taken a much more proactive approach in trying to disrupt these unscrupulous individuals wandering around the country, trying to overcome cricket," Richardson said.

"The players were very good at reporting any access they received.

"You will now read more about anti-corruption in the media, but this is not because it is deteriorating, but because we are trying to do much more to violate these criminal elements," he added.

The former South African record holder is to step down as the ICC chief since this year's World Cup when Manu Soni from India will take over.

Richardson said the increased use of technology in sport and efforts to increase the World Cup test cricket test was his focus.

"We finally convinced members that they need a test league, it's likely to be one of the things I will be proud of."

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