- Publish Date
- Friday, 19 March 2021, 11:59AM
The squeaky clean reputation of the Black Caps has been put in perspective after a review of International Cricket's disciplinary records revealed even Australia have had a better behaved squad over the past three years.
A study by Wisden pointed out that New Zealand sit around the middle of the pack when it comes to player behaviour since April 2018, a date that holds importance as the month after Australia's infamous ball-tampering scandal took place in South Africa.
Since then, New Zealand cricketers have been twice as likely to infringe upon the ICC's code of conduct as an apparent culture-shift across the Tasman has paid dividends.
Comparitively, only two Australian men's players have breached the ICC Code of Conduct in that same time period — Zimbabwe is the only Test-playing nation with fewer breaches.
Australian captain Tim Paine was fined 15 per cent of his match fee and given a demerit point after showing dissent to an umpire's decision during the recent Test series against India.
And at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, spin bowler Adam Zampa was given a demerit point after stump mics picked up an audible obscenity during a one-day match against the West Indies.
These have been Australia's only two ICC Code of Conduct breaches since Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were reprimanded for "changing the condition of the ball" three years ago, meaning the side has infringed just 0.019 times per international match.
In comparison, Black Caps players have been reprimanded at a rate of 0.038 per match with three cases in that timespan.
First, Trent Boult was caught swearing by stump microphones twice while bowling during his side's ODI match against Bangladesh in Christchurch in 2019.
Second, Daryl Mitchell used inappropriate language as West Indies captain Jason Holder was running between the wickets during the side's test match against the West Indies in December 2020.
Finally, young bowling sensation Kyle Jamieson, threw a ball in the direction of Pakistan's Faheem Ashraf at high speed during their clash also in December 2020.
Things could also look worse for the Black Caps very soon as this review did not include Tim Southee's recent run-in with the ICC which also saw him earn a demerit point for shouting at an umpire.
However, New Zealand's record still looks sparkling when compared to the worst offenders in world cricket.
England has been charged for the most Code of Conduct breaches over the last three years, accumulating 12 offences since April 2018.
This includes two for James Anderson, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, while Test paceman Stuart Broad has registered three — the most of any cricketer in that period.
All but one of England's 12 breaches were classified as Level 1 — the lowest possible.
Five of England's offences were for obscene language, most notably during last year's Test series against South Africa.
English wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was overheard calling Proteas paceman Vernon Philander a "f***ing k***head", while superstar allrounder Ben Stokes came under fire for brashly calling a spectator a "f***ing four-eyed c***".
Broad's three offences were each for directing inappropriate or offensive language at opponent players.
However, Bangladesh has been pinged more frequently than England when accounting for games played, though one third of their offences came via their under-19 side and its shoving match with Indian opposition after clinching the age-group World Cup.
CODE OF CONDUCT BREACHES PER MATCH SINCE APRIL 2018
Bangladesh — 0.122 (9 total)
England — 0.109 (12 total)
West Indies — 0.073 (8 total)
Sri Lanka — 0.047 (4 total)
India — 0.042 (5 total)
South Africa — 0.038 (3 total)
New Zealand — 0.038 (3 total)
Afghanistan — 0.036 (2 total)
Ireland — 0.029 (2 total)
Pakistan — 0.019 (2 total)
Australia — 0.019 (2 total)
Zimbabwe — 0.018 (1 total)
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission