In the late 1990s, two distinguished MCC members (and ex-England captains), Ted Dexter and Lord (Colin) Cowdrey, sought to enshrine the 'Spirit of Cricket' in the game's Laws.
This would remind players of their responsibility for ensuring that cricket is always played in a truly sportsmanlike manner.
The Dexter/Cowdrey initiative proved successful. When the current Code of Laws was introduced, in 2000, it included, for the first time, a Preamble on the Spirit of Cricket. As it says: "Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this Spirit causes injury to the game itself".
The Preamble goes on to explain the roles and responsibilities of captains, players and umpires in respecting and upholding the Spirit of Cricket.
Since the 2000 Code was published, MCC has promoted the new Laws - and the Spirit of Cricket - as widely as possible, both in Britain and overseas. As a result, cricketers, right across the world, are increasingly aware that they should not merely obey the game's Laws but safeguard its Spirit.