Last summer, Poloc cricketer Saleem Sajjad assaulted an umpire and Cricket Scotland was accused of leniency in failing to ban him for longer than the remainder of the 2006 season. In its defence, the governing body cited a lack of precedent and guidance within an ambiguous disciplinary system. Now the administrators have ironed out the creases and toughened up.

A list was distributed yesterday by Cricket Scotland detailing the first nine miscreants to have been reported by umpires in this season's National Cricket League. There is no effort to mask the fact that a traditionally cordial sport has a contemporary nasty side. The law - featuring four different tiers of offence - has now been nailed to the wall and troublemakers will be periodically named and shamed.

"The disciplinary system is totally different to what it was last summer, and we want to publicise [the results] because there is no point in doing it otherwise," said Roddy Smith, the CS chief executive. "It won't be done behind closed doors."

Players and clubs now have no quarter for arguing that the severity of a punishment is decided in a speculative manner. Sajjad's offence, like an act of violence towards any player, official or spectator, would be a Level 4 misdemeanour, which incurs a minimum suspension of nine matches and can lead to a lifetime ban. Level 3 offences are punishable by a ban of five matches or more but no longer than a season.

So far this season, three players - Atif and Khasif Hussain of Edinburgh and Michael Watson of Falkland, who clashed in a single incident - have had complaints of Level 2 offences upheld and been banned for two matches. Another six have been reprimanded for Level 1 crimes such as swearing, the smashing of stumps or dissent at an umpire's decision.

Smith admitted the Sajjad incident had plunged the governing body into a minefield, but said it was merely the straw that broke the camel's back as far as the disciplinary overhaul was concerned. The suspension of Scotland bowler Asim Butt for a year for drugs use in 2005 was in line with a ban imposed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, and made the Scots consider what action they would take in response to an equivalent offence locally.

"There was a code of conduct in place before, but nothing that identified details of how to deal with an offence," said Smith. "The framework we have now was taken from the ICC code of conduct that applies to matches worldwide from under-age to senior level. It seems to be bedding in well.

"We have a panel of adjudicators which includes representatives from various clubs. The good thing from our point of view is that the clubs have supported it and the players have admitted their guilt, and nothing has been disputed so far. As players become used to going through the system and know what to expect, it will be a positive all round. You can go back further than the Saleem Sajjad incident and there were issues about who had the ability to sanction players. Sajjad was one case, Asim Butt was another - there was no clear demarcation and the logic was blurred about who was responsible."

The 2007 summer has so far been free of major controversy, with no complaints about behaviour necessitating action at Level 3 or Level 4. "Long may that continue, but I'm sure something will happen at some point," said Smith. "Now, though, I hope we have a system in place to avoid any disputes."

NAUGHTY NINE

Nine national league cricketers have been reported by umpires under Cricket Scotland's new disciplinary procedures so far this season. The outcomes of the reports have been determined by a disciplinary panel.

KEVIN RITCHIE (Arbroath CC)
Arbroath Utd v Aberdeenshire (28 April). Level 1 complaint upheld (dissent at umpire's decision) Punishment: reprimand

YASIR ARFAT (Dunfermline)
Dunfermline v Dumfries (5 May). Level 1 complaint upheld (aggressive gesturing) Punishment: reprimand

YASIR ALI (Edinburgh CC)
Glasgow Accies v Edinburgh (26 May). Level 1 complaint upheld (dissent at umpire's decision) Punishment: reprimand

KASHIF PERVEZ (Edinburgh CC)
Glasgow Accies v Edinburgh (26 May). Level 1 complaint upheld (dissent at umpire's decision) Punishment: reprimand

SANJAY PATEL (Grange CC)
Grange v Carlton (26 May). Level 1 complaint upheld (obscene and offensive language) Punishment: reprimand

ATIF HUSSAIN (Edinburgh CC)
Falkland v Edinburgh (2 June). Level 2 complaint upheld (throwing ball in inappropriate/dangerous manner) Punishment: two-game ban

MICHAEL WATSON (Falkland CC)
Falkland v Edinburgh (2June). Level 2 complaint upheld (Actions against the spirit of the game and brought into disrepute by same) Punishment: two-game ban

KHASIF HUSSAIN (Edinburgh CC)
Falkland v Edinburgh (2 June). Level 2 complaint upheld. (Actions against the spirit of the game and brought into disrepute by same) Punishment: two-game ban

GREGOR BISSET (SMRH CC)
SMRH v Dunfermline (10 June). Level 1 complaint upheld (abuse of cricket equipment) Punishment: reprimand