ICC isn't taking ball tampering lightly anymore Image: Twitter
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to push for harsher punishment for ball tampering during its annual conference later this month.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been charged for the same during the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia and the ICC said it is likely to push for upgrading ball tampering from a Level 2 to Level 3 offence.
Currently, the maximum sanction under a Level 2 charge is a ban of one Test or two ODIs, while under Level 3, a player is slapped with a ban of four Tests or eight ODIs.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said the cricket committee "viewed" ball tampering as "cheating" which went against the spirit of cricket.
"... Therefore, they (committee) were very strong that we need to increase the sanctions available for that type of conduct," Richardson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
"So we are talking moving both ball tampering and personal abuse, foul language up to Level 3," he added.
Back in April, ICC had asked an internal panel to suggest harsher punishment for ball tampering and other misbehaviour by players after the meeting of the Cricket Committee, chaired by former India captain Anil Kumble.
The cricket committee's recommendations will come up for discussion during the annual conference in Dublin later this month.
Richardson said if the ICC Board finalises moving ball tampering to Level 3, in future it could attract a suspension of "minimum of four Tests".
"We are considering bumping it up to Level 3 and even considering the range of penalty slightly higher as well," Richardson said.
The ball-tampering scandal rocked the cricketing world in Cape Town in March when Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera tampering with the ball during the third Test against South Africa.
Later, Cricket Australia had banned skipper Steven Smith and David Warner for 12 months and Bancroft was handed a nine months ban from playing international cricket for their roles in the ball-tampering controversy.
(With inputs from PTI)