Across the world, cricket has a rich and diverse history and regularly demonstrates its capacity to break down boundaries and draw cultures together. There is a strong tradition of fans from rival teams enjoying matches side by side and the off-field camaraderie amongst players is a celebrated feature of the game. 

Against this backdrop there is clearly no place for discrimination, so, in October 2012, the ICC Anti-Discrimination Policy for International Cricket was introduced as part of the ICC’s continuing efforts to maintain the public image, popularity and integrity of cricket (originally entitled the Anti-Racism Policy for International Cricket) 

The Anti-Discrimination Policy replaced the Anti-Racism Code and permits Members to exercise more flexibility and discretion in determining what is appropriate within their own jurisdiction to achieve, to a consistently high standard, the desired aims of the Policy. In August 2019, the Policy was amended to widen the discriminatory conduct that was not prohibited by the ICC. 

This Policy - one of the toughest in world sport - confirms a level of commitment from the ICC and its Members to promote and encourage participation at all levels regardless of race, colour, religion, descent, culture, ethnic origin, nationality, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status and/or maternity status and to ensure that there is no discrimination in the sport.  

The Policy contains a series of clear but flexible requirements for each Member, whether Full or Associate, in terms of the Member’s own conduct, its education and training of others, its communications with spectators and others, and its reporting to the ICC, each in respect of International Matches played within its jurisdiction.  

Further, it requires ICC Members to impose punishments on spectators found guilty of discrimination, which may include ejection from the venue or a ban of a specified period from attending venues within the Member’s jurisdiction to watch cricket, and to deliver preventative measures at International Matches. It also contains a series of similar requirements upon the ICC, to reflect the fact that the ICC is primarily responsible for compliance with such matters at ICC Events. 

To assist Members with the implementation of the new Policy, the ICC introduced implementation guidelines at the same time as the Policy was adopted and since 2012 has been monitoring the application of these measures around the cricket world. 

The ICC’s commitment to ensuring the diversity of the sport is respected by its participants and is also enshrined in the ICC’s Anti-Discrimination Code for Participants, where on-field discrimination is considered one of the most serious acts that can be committed, with the possibility of a life ban for anyone found guilty of such an offence. This Code (among other things) prohibits racially offensive and other types of discriminatory conduct by Participants during International Matches. 

While this Anti-Discrimination Policy and the ICC’s Anti-Discrimination Code for Participants both apply specifically to International Matches, all ICC Members are encouraged to adopt and implement corresponding policies that apply to all other domestic cricket taking place within their respective jurisdictions.

Related documents:

ICC Anti-Discrimination Policy - Implementation Guidelines for Members (1 August 2019)

ICC Anti-Discrimination Policy for International Cricket (1 August 2019)
ICC Anti-Discrimination Code for Participants (1 August 2019)