Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws, but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action that is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the Captains.
1. There are two Laws that place the responsibility for the team's conduct firmly on the Captain.
Responsibility of Captains
The Captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.
In the event of any Player failing to comply with the instructions of an Umpire, criticising his decision by word or action, showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the Umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other Umpire and to the Player's Captain, requesting the latter to take action.
2. Fair and Unfair Play
According to the Laws the Umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. The Umpires may intervene at any time, and it is the responsibility of the Captain to take action where required.
3. The Umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:
Damaging the pitch
Dangerous or unfair bowling
Tampering with the ball
Any other action that they consider to be unfair
4. The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for:
Your own Captain and team
The role of the Umpires
The game and its traditional values
5. It is against the Spirit of the Game:
To dispute an Umpire's decision by word, action or gesture
To direct abusive language towards an opponent or Umpire
To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance
a) appeal knowing the batsman is not out
b) advance towards an Umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
c) seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with
persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one's own side.
There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.
Captains and Umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution to this.
ECB Cricket Department (October 2010)