Sydney: The International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive officer David Richardson on Tuesday warned players that their failure to follow the governing body's Code of Conduct during the World Cup would result in severe punishments.
“That issue has been addressed at all the pre-event team briefings. I suppose it started a few months back. The behaviour in some matches by some players was deemed to be unacceptable, and not a good example to young fans watching the game,” Richardson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo Tuesday.
Richardson added that the crackdown had already begun and he hoped that everyone "will be treated equally and fairly".
Australian opener David Warner and pacer Mitchell Starc were respectively fined and reprimanded for separate incidents against India in a recently-held tri-series also featuring England.
"I think there has been something like 12, 13 Code of Conduct charges laid in the last few months," he said.
"So the crackdown has already started. The teams are going to be told that the umpires intend to remain firm, that the penalties handed out by the match referees will perhaps be a little bit more serious, or higher than before, but that hopefully everyone will be treated equally and fairly."
Richardson, however, said the matter was not prevalent at the top level but added it was about "a few individuals" crossing the line in "a few" matches.
"Player behaviour generally, and teams like New Zealand in particular, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the majority have been very good," he said.
"So we're not expecting too much trouble. Hopefully those who tend to get a little bit too excited on occasions will keep their calm."
Asked whether the threat of suspension might serve as a more effective deterrent, Richardson replied: “I think it will be. We're talking about, in most cases, heat of the moment exchanges.”
"Circumstances differ from time to time. For a first offence you'll likely end up with a fine, which I think no player likes - handing back most of his match fee," he added.
"But certainly a repeat offence, not only in this tournament but maybe some players already sitting with some offences behind their name, will be punished with a suspension."